Kraken’s post `historic’ 8-5 road win

The Seattle Kraken finished off a historical road trip by making some more history Saturday night at Chicago’s United Center.

The Kraken and their fans knew going into the game that a victory would guarantee a 7-0 road trip making the second-year franchise the first NHL team to achieve that feat. But no one could have predicted Seattle would score five goals in a span of 4:42 of the first period (the most goals in that short a time since 1972) or that Jared McCann would record the team’s second ever three-goal hat trick to lead the Kraken to an 8-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate as the Kraken held a 6-1 lead 13 minutes into the game. The Blackhawks also scored twice in the final four minutes of the game to make the score a little bit more respectable. With the victory, the Kraken improve their record to 26-12-4 on the season and move into second place in the Pacific Division. Last night’s game marked the first game of the second half of the 82-game season. Last year, the Kraken won only 27 games in the 82-game season. Oh, by the way, the Kraken won their eighth consecutive game, a new team record, and remain the only NHL team not to lose a game in 2023.

“The two points is what matters,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s a great accomplishment for the players to be able to do that. It shows the consistency and the work that they’ve put in from the start of this road trip. So, for me, it’s more about the players and accomplishing consistency of play together as they move through the entire road trip.”

Seattle opened the scoring at 2:50 of the first period. After Brandon Tanev moved the puck out of the Seattle defensive zone, Morgan Geekie hit Daniel Sprong on the left wing. Sprong cut to the net and beat Chicago goalkeeper Petr Mrazek with a backhander; Sprong’s seventh goal in 12 games.

The Blackhawks tied the game on Jonathan Toews 30-footer at 8:40. The goal came moments after Seattle goalkeeper Martin Jones stopped Max Domi on a breakaway. That goal ended Jones’ scoreless streak of 1:39.30, including two shutouts. Chicago had a slight territorial advantage up to that point but then the floodgates opened.

Matty Beniers gave the Kraken the lead for good with a drive from the point and started a streak where Seattle would get five goals on six shots. McCann’s wrist shot upped the lead to 3-1 and when Andre Burakovsky scored off a centering pass from Jordan Eberle (playing in his 900th NHL game), Mrazek was pulled in favor of Alex Stalock, who was in the nets when the Blackhawks defeated the Kraken, 5-4, on Oct. 23.

Stalock took his time buckling up his shin pads, possibly to stop the Kraken momentum, but it didn’t do any good. Stalock gave up goals on the first two shots he faced. Eeli Tolvanen scored his fifth as a Kraken – the team still hasn’t lost a game that Tolvanen has played- and McCann added his second goal. The period ended with every Kraken forward getting at least one point.

“That’s a crazy first period,” Hakstol said. “We had a couple of really nice plays offensively. And we got a couple that had eyes and fell in the back of the net. That’s a positive way to be able to start a hockey game.”

Ironically, the Kraken didn’t score at all in the second period. Rookie defenseman Isaak Phillips scored his first NHL goal, and the score was noteworthy to the Kraken as the period ended a streak of 18 consecutive periods where Seattle has either tied or outscored its opponent.

In the third period, Domi’s power play goal cut the lead to 6-3, but then the Kraken started scoring again. McCann scored his third off a drop pass from Adam Larsson. Larsson then screened out Chicago defenseman Jack Johnson and McCann went to the net unimpeded and scored. McCann’s three goal `hat trick’ was the second in Kraken history. Eberle turned the trick early last season against Buffalo. McCann now has 22 goals on the season, he led the team with 27 a year ago.

“Obviously my linemates created a lot of space for me,” McCann said. “Playing with Ryan Donato tonight (who assisted on McCann’s first two goals) was huge and he’s a big boy who can control the puck down low and he found me.”

Oliver Bjorkstrand finished the Seatle scoring off a centering pass from Jamie Oleksiak, who picked up his 100th career assist on the play. Defensemen Justin Schultz, Carson Soucy and Will Borgen were the only Kraken players not to have a point in the game. Chicago’s Taylor Raddysh and Patrick Kane added late goals to fatten up their individual stats, but the Kraken had already all but clinched their 16th road win of the season.

The Kraken return to Climate Pledge Arena for a Martin Luther King Day Monday matinee tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning defeated the Kraken, 6-2, on Dec. 13 in Tampa. The Kraken are 0-3 lifetime against the Lightning.


  • This was the fourth time this season the Kraken have scored at least eight goals and the third time they have done it on the road. It was also the 20th time in 23 road games that Seattle has scored at least three times. 
  • Along with an assist, Adam Larsson was a +7 in the game, meaning he was on the ice for seven of the Kraken goals. His defense partner Vince Dunn (who also had an assist) was a +6. Larsson and Dunn, who have been defense partners going back to last season have been on the ice for more even strength goals than any defense pair in the league.
  • The Coachella Valley Firebirds, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Kraken, currently lead the Pacific Division of the AHL with a 24-6-4 record. Forward Andrew Poturalski and defenseman Ryker Evans were selected to the AHL All-Star Classic on Feb. 6 and 7 in Laval, Quebec. Evans, the Kraken’s second-round pick in the 2021 amateur draft is tied for first in scoring by a rookie defenseman, three goals and 18 assists for 21 points.


 First Period

S- Daniel Sprong (Morgan Geekie, Brandon Tanev) 2:50. C- Jonathan Toews (Taylor Raddysh) 8:40. S- Matty Beniers (Vince Dunn) 9:29. S- Jared McCann (Ryan Donato) 10:46. S- Andre Burakovsky (Beniers, Jordan Eberle) 12:08. S- Eeli Tolvanen (Yanni Gourde, Bjorkstrand) 12:45. S- McCann (Donato, Alex Wennberg) 13:11.

Second Period

C- Isaak Phillips (Jason Dickinson) 10:45.

Third Period

C- Max Domi (Raddysh, Seth Jones) PPG 0:51. S- McCann (Adam Larsson, Eberle) 1:54. S- Bjorkstrand (Jamie Oleksiak, Gourde) 2:37. C- Raddysh (Jonathan Toews, Seth Jones) PPG 16:50. C- Patrick Kane (Domi) 19:45.

Shots on Goal- Seattle 30, Chicago 27.

Penalty Minutes- Seattle 4, Chicago 4.

Referees- T.J. Luxmore, Pierre Lambert. Linesmen- Derek Hansen, Shander Alphonso.

Three Stars- 1. Jared McCann, S. 2. Matty Beniers, S. 3. Alex Wennberg, S.

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