Larsson scores OT game winner for the Kraken

Seattle Kraken defenseman Adam Larsson epitomizes the strong, silent type. The type you see in old Westerns. Last weekend, Larsson made a rare appearance in the interview room after the Kraken’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers. His voice was quiet and his answers short. Not unfriendly, just quiet. Larsson let’s his play on the ice do the talking.

After blocking two shots in the final minute – Dallas’ Jamie Benn tied the game with a second remaining- Larsson took a laser stretch pass from forward Jared McCann and  his backhander beat Stars’ goalkeeper Jake Oettinger to give the Kraken a much-needed victory, 5-4, along with two more standings points.

“Those are the kinds of plays that you need this time of year to earn another valuable point,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol, whose squad improves to 39-24-7. “The demeanor of our bench didn’t change (after Benn’s tying goal) and that’s a trait of our group. It’s really important to just be able to take on the next task that’s at hand, no matter the situation in the game, good or bad.”

The Kraken keep pace with the rest of the Pacific Division. The three teams ahead of them in the standings, Vegas, Los Angeles and Edmonton had all won eight of their last ten games. Perhaps more importantly, Seattle remains one of the top eight teams in the Western Conference, who would advance to the playoffs. Seattle’s six points ahead of Calgary and seven points over Nashville for a playoff berth. While the Stars pick up one point for an overtime loss, the Minnesota Wild move into first place tie with Dallas in the Central Division.

“It was a team effort,” said Larsson. “We had a lot of guys stepping up. Blocking shots. Our fourth line was great and Joey (Daccord) was amazing in the net. It was a great night overall.”

Daccord has been with the Kraken’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. Coach Dan Bylsma, whose squad clinched a playoff berth over the weekend, calls Daccord his Most Valuable Player this season. Daccord was recalled for last night’s game with Philipp Grubauer still on the sick list and Martin Jones turning in some sub-par performances in his most recent outings. Daccord’s biggest save came in the second period with the Kraken holding a 3-1 lead. Benn took a pass coming out of the penalty box and went in on a breakaway. Daccord made the kick save.

“He made big saves at good times,” said Hakstol. “The ones that did go in are tough plays for him. I thought he did a nice job handling the puck. Subtly, those little plays back there make a big difference I thought he showed poise all the way through the game, especially in a younger guy coming in, really, to continue what he’s been doing in the American Hockey League.”

While the Kraken don’t have any goal scorers the likes of a Connor McDavid or David Pastrnak, they’ve boasted a balanced scoring attack. Seattle’s fourth line of Brandon Tanev, Morgan Geekie and Daniel Sprong accounted for six points. Tanev opened the scoring with a tip-in of Sprong’s shot at 2:32. After Miro Heiskanen tied the game, Tanev repaid the favor by setting up Sprong for a goal at 12:20. Tanev now has a career-high of 15 goals and 32 points this season.

Seattle had the only score of the second period but it was one for the highlight reels. After defenseman Jamie Oleksiak blocked a shot in the Kraken end, Jordan Eberle took the puck down the left wall and backhanded a pass through the Dallas defense. McCann cutting to the net was somewhat off-balance but with one hand on the stick, he tapped the puck past Oettinger.

A deflection by the Stars’ Wyatt Johnston on Ryan Suter’s drive from the point was the opening goal of a wild and hectic third period. It was `Turbo Time’ again when Tanev blistered a shot from the slot for his second goal of the night. That gave Seattle a 4-2 lead at 14:32. The Stars thought they had a `response’ goal a mere 13 second later but that was not the case.

Ty Dellandrea tucked home a rebound at 14:45, but when the Stars’ finished celebrating, the Kraken asked for a review claiming goalie interference. That was a daring move, as Seattle would have received a delay of game penalty if the ruling wasn’t overturned. But after consulting the replay, the officials ruled that Max Domi had interfered with Daccord. Replays showed that defenseman Carson Soucy had pushed Domi into the net, but the officials (and the Kraken) felt that he didn’t make enough of an effort to move away from Daccord.

To their credit, the Stars kept fighting back, scoring two goals after Oettinger was pulled for an extra attacker. Pavelski deflected Benn’s shot at 16:34, then in the game’s final seconds, the Kraken were unable to get the puck out of their zone. Finally, with less than a second showing on the clock (:07), Benn sent the puck home on a scramble in front of the net.

For Kraken fans it may have been a `here we go again’ feeling as Dallas came from behind after pulling their goalie and winning in overtime, on the Kraken’s last homestand, 4-3, on Mar. 11. But as Larsson noted, “Sometimes we tend to get a little too emotional and too excited. I thought tonight we stayed pretty even keel, even till the end.”

The Kraken also got some retribution after having lost twice to Dallas at home, in overtime and regulation, earlier in the month. Seattle now travels to Nashville for two games on Thursday and Saturday. The Predators probably need two victories to catch Seattle in the playoff hunt.


  • For the first time in NHL history, two defensemen- Seattle’s Vince Dunn and Dallas’ Miro Heiskanen entered a game with double-digit point streaks. Dunn’s streak ended at 11 games, while Heiskanen has scored in 13 straight. In the Stars’ 5-2 win over the Kraken, March 13 at Climate Pledge Arena, Heiskanen was the game’s number-two star and Dunn was selected number three.
  • Joey Daccord’s now 2-0 in the Kraken nets this season. He was an emergency call-up on Nov. 1, when the Kraken posted a 5-4 victory at Calgary.
  • Kraken forward John Hayden underwent surgery on Monday for a lower body injury. In Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Hayden fell to the ice awkwardly, twisting his leg, in a fight with the Oilers’ Klim Kostin. The Kraken announced Hayden’s recovery time should be about 12 weeks.


First Period

S- Brandon Tanev (Daniel Sprong, Carson Soucy) 2:32. D- Miro Heiskanen (Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski) 5:32. S- Sprong (Tanev, Adam Larsson) 12:20.

Second Period

S- Jared McCann (Jordan Eberle, Jamie Oleksiak) 1:37.

Third Period

D- Wyatt Johnston (Jamie Benn, Ryan Suter) 3:57. S- Tanev (Morgan Geekie, Soucy) 14:32. D- Pavelski (Jamie Benn, Robertson) 16:34. D- Benn (Roope Hintz, Heiskanen) 19:59.


S- Larsson (McCann, Alex Wennberg) 1:52.

Shots on Goal- Seattle 27, Dallas 29.

Penalty Minutes- Seattle 4, Dallas 8.

Referees- Gord Dwyer, Brandon Blandina. Linesmen- Bryan Panich, Killian McNamara.

Three Stars- 1. Brandon Tanev, S. 2. Jamie Benn, D. 3. Daniel Sprong, S.

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