After the Seattle Kraken’s 5-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators last night at Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle coach Dave Hakstol had the quote of the night – “There are no do-overs.”
Hakstol was referring to the Senator’s quick 3-0 lead in the first period. Before the fans were settled in their seats, high-scoring rookie Shane Pinto, newly acquired Jakob Chychrun and Patrick Brown had given the Senators a 3-0 lead. The Kraken would arguably outplay their guests in the second (and most of) and third periods but the Senators already had an early cushion.
After Brown’s goal at 827 of the first period, Hakstol opted to take the Krakens’ only timeout of the game. While the coach wasn’t’ sharing `exactly’ what he said to the players, the Kraken did appear to regroup , eventually taking a 4-3 lead on Vince Dunn’s third-period goal. But the Senators are a desperate team – a loss would have placed them six points behind the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Veteran forward Claude Giroux scored a response goal only 38 seconds later and Alex DeBrincat notched the game winner for Ottawa at 17:37.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” said Hakstol. “We know that. Regardless of how the first 50-plus minutes goes, we’re again in a position to earn that point. In the third period, we weren’t good enough on the wall and that cost us on our breakouts a couple of times, both on our puck play and our wall play. You’ve got a couple of hours to process it, and then you’ve got to move on.”
Hakstol also noted that the Kraken had won five straight games before last night’s contest, when asked about being concerned with the Kraken blowing third period leads. Hakstol also elected to stay with Philipp Grubauer in the nets after the early barrage, and the Kraken netminder made some nice saves. “That was his job (to keep us in the game),” said Hakstol.
It was certainly a night that the Kraken (37-22-6) could have used a victory. Edmonton beat league-leader Boston after trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes to move into a third-place tie with the Kraken (Edmonton and Seattle are two of the three teams to beat Boston in regulation time on their home ice this season). The Kraken fall four points behind division leaders Vegas, which defeated Tampa Bay in overtime (there were 146 minutes in penalties in that game) and Los Angeles, which defeated Colorado.
“We gave (Ottawa) a lot of high-end looks,” Dunn said. “We were a little too casual and relaxed in the first ten minutes. They’re a very desperate team right now. They’re right in the playoff race.”
There did appear to be a momentum change when Jared McCann scored a shorthanded goal at 11:55. McCann pounced on a loose puck to the right of the Kraken net. McCann flew down the ice like a man possessed, but sometimes you need a little luck as well. McCann’s initial shot was kicked out by 6’7 goalkeeper Mads Sogaard, but the puck went off the skate of trailing defenseman Thomas Chabot and into the net. Sogaard was playing only his tenth NHL game as Ottawa’s veteran goaltenders – Anton Forsberg and Cam Talbot- are out with injuries.
The Kraken fought back with two goals in the second period. After Oliver Bjorkstrand intercepted an Ottawa clearing pass, Jaden Schwartz tipped home Dunn’s drive from the point. That goal came at 2:11 and exactly six minutes later, McCann tied the game when he sent home a rebound of Yanni Gourde’s shot. Officials reviewed the play to see if McCann’s stick was above his shoulder, but replays showed otherwise and the goal counted, McCann’s 33rd goal of the season.
Seattle took its only lead of the game at 3:23 of the third period. Gourde sent a lead pass to Dunn who fired home from the right slot. However, the public address announcer didn’t have time to announce the Kraken goal before the Senators tied the game. Tim Stutzle intercepted a clearing pass by defenseman Will Borgen and the puck found its way on the stick of Giroux, who came down the slot and scored.
Giroux set up the game winner when he won a one-on-one puck battle with Jamie Oleksiak behind the net. DeBrincat’s shot from the right side went off the stick of Borgen and past Grubauer into the net.
“I think maybe just throw this one behind us,” said Dunn, “There was a lot of good and we know where it wasn’t so pretty. We have a big game on Saturday (home against the Central Division leading Dallas Stars). “We’re getting everyone’s best game whether they’re out of the race or not. Guys have a lot to show and prove right now. We can’t take anyone lightly and we need to make this building a very hard place to play.”
For the first time this season, the Kraken will play two consecutive home games against the same team. Seattle faces Dallas on Saturday – the Stars scored ten goals against Buffalo last night- and then have a rematch with the Stars on Monday
- The Kraken’s Vince Dunn has now scored in eight consecutive games. Dunn has three goals and eight assists in that span.
- Before a Monday night loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Ottawa Senators had won five straight games. And while the Senators are currently out of the playoffs, the team has hardly thrown in the towel. The Senators’ management were “buyers” at the trade deadline, acquiring highly sought after defenseman Jakob Chychrun (the number-one star in last night’s game with a goal and an assist) from the Arizona Coyotes.
- Last night’s game marked the first regulation loss by the Kraken to the Senators. The Kraken posted an 8-4 victory over the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre, Jan. 7 as part of the team’s 7-0 road trip. The Kraken are 2-1-1 overall against the Senators.
- Along with playing two consecutive home games against Dallas, the Kraken have two consecutive road games against the Nashville Predators, March 23 and 25th.
O Shane Pinto (Nick Holden, Jakob Chychrun) 4:10. O- Chychrun (Holden, Tim Stutzle) 8:10.O-Patrick Brown (Mathieu Joseph) 8:27. S- Jared McCann (unassisted) SH 11:55.
S- Jaden Schwartz (Vince Dunn, Oliver Bjorkstrand) 2:11. S- McCann (Daniel Sprong, Yanni Gourde) 8:11.
S- Vince Dunn (Gourde) 3:23. O- Claude Giroux (Tim Stutzle) 4:01. O- Alex DeBrinkat (Jake Sanderson, Giroux) 17:37.
Shots on Goal- Ottawa 31, Seattle 33.
Penalty Minutes- Ottawa 4, Seattle 10
Referee- Francis Charron, Graham Skilliter. Linesmen- Trent Knorr, Ryan Jackson.
Three Stars- 1. Jakob Chychrun, O. 2. Alex DeBrincat, O. 3. Jared McCann, S.
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