Fleury, Boldy hand Kraken 5-1 loss

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys playing against the Seattle Kraken.

Back on Nov. 11, the future Hall-of-Fame netminder turned aside 28 shots in a 1-0 victory over the Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. Last night at the XL Energy Center, Fleury looked like he was on his way to once again blanking the usually efficient Kraken offense. That is until Jaden Schwartz finally scored for Seattle with nine minutes remaining in the game.

Unfortunately for the Kraken, the Wild had already built a 5-0 lead, bolstered by Matt Boldy’s three-goal hat trick. Boldy’s efforts were a “pure” hat trick, three consecutive goals as the Wild went on to post a 5-1 victory. With leading scorer Kirill Kaprizov sidelined with an injury, Boldy has now scored 11 goals in his last eight games and recorded his second hat trick in five games.

“It didn’t feel like a 5-1 game,” said Schwartz. “It felt closer than that. No matter how many shots we had (36 shots on goal), Fleury made some big-time saves. We just weren’t quite there for the second chances.”

Seattle falls to 40-25-8. With the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, the Kraken now trail the third-place Oilers by five points in the Pacific Division. Seattle remains in fourth and in the first wild-card position in the Western Conference. Minnesota improves to 43-22-9, but boast an awesome 14-1-4 mark in their last 19 games. They now lead Dallas by one point in the Central Division and the Wild and Kraken could meet in the opening round of the playoffs.

“Not the result we wanted,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol after the game. “It was one of those nights we were never rewarded for some of the good, hard work we did offensively. We made a couple too many mistakes that ended up in the back of our net. It felt like we could keep pushing and find one, especially in the first half of the hockey game, and get ourselves right back into it, but that didn’t happen.”

The Kraken peppered the Wild with 14 shots in the first 12 minutes of the contest but Jake Middleton opened the scoring for Minnesota. Moments after killing a penalty, Wild captain Jared Spurgeon faked a shot from the point and then head manned a pass to Middlton, who fired home a shot from the left circle.

The second period belonged to the 21-year-old Boldy. With the Wild on a power play, Boldy cut to the net and scored off a pass from Marcus Johansson, who was stationed behind the net. Johansson was an original Kraken, but was dealt at the trading deadline to the Washington Capitals for Daniel Sprong. Minnesota picked him up at the trade deadline this season. In fact, Johansson seems to get traded at the deadline every year (three different times).

Boldy’s second goal showed what a lethal scorer he can be. The Wild forward came down the right wing and fired thru a screen of four players to beat Kraken goaltender Philip Grubauer. When Boldy added a third period goal, Grubauer was pulled in favor of Martin Jones, making his first appearance between the pipes since Mar. 18. Jones replaced an ailing Grubauer in the second period of a game with Edmonton. Jones recorded a 4-0 shutout against the Wild on Nov. 4, the Kraken’s only victory in three tries against Minnesota.

“(With Minnesota) you don’t have to make a lot of mistakes,” said Hakstol. “We made a defensive zone coverage mistake on the first goal. They beat us on a seam play on the PK, and the third one is through bodies.”

The Wild’s Ryan Hartman and Schwartz traded goals, the remainder of the third period. Schwartz scored off a pass from Morgan Geekie, who’s been recently moved from center to wing on a line with Schwartz and Alex Wennberg. Vince Dunn, the Kraken’s leading scorer, drew the second assist on the play, Dunn’s 14th point in the last 15 games.

Despite the loss, the Kraken remain comfortably ahead of the first two teams not in the playoffs- seven points ahead of  the Calgary Flames and and eight over the Nashville Predators. Seattle completes a four-game road trip compiling five of a possible eight points.

“We’ve just got to get home, get some rest ,and regroup,” said Schwartz. “Get ready for Thursday. Obviously, we’ve got a big nine games left and it’s gonna be a big push.”

The Kraken face the Anaheim Ducks, Thursday at Climate Pledge Arena and the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. The Kings are currently in second place in the Pacific Division but the Kraken have defeated LA three times this season.


  • A more physical team, the Wild had 26 hits in the game to the Kraken’s 16.
  • Justin Schwartz led the Kraken with six shots on goal. Jordan Eberle and Daniel Sprong each had five.
  • Seattle forwards Yanni Gourde and Ryan Donato both received five-minute penalties for fighting in the game. It marked the first time the Kraken have received more than one fighting penalty in a game since a Nov. 25 game against the Vancouver Canucks. In that game three Kraken players – Adam Larsson, Morgan Geekie and Carson Soucy- received major fighting penalties.
  • Monday’s victory was the 27th game of the season in which the Wild gave up one or no goals. Only league-leading Boston has more (28) and the Wild surrender an average over just two goals per game on the season. Fleury, who played on a Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has 73 shutouts in his career an NHL record. Last night’s win was Fleury’s 24th of the season.


First Period

M- Jake Middleton (Jared Spurgeon, Marcus Johansson) 15:17.

Second Period

M- Matt Boldy (Johansson, Spurgeon) PPG 5:36. M- Boldy (Joel Eriksson-Ek) 14:59.

Third Period

M- Boldy (Eriksson-Ek) :50. M- Ryan Hartman (Mats Zuccarello, Jon Merrill) 10:21. S- Jaden Schwartz (Morgan Geekie, Vince Dunn) 11:00.

Shots on Goal- Seattle 36, Minnesota 20.

Penalty Minutes- Seattle 18, Minnesota 18.

Referees- Steve Kozari, Francis Charron. Linesmen- Brandon Gawyrletz, Tommy Hughes.

Three Stars- 1. Matt Boldy. 2. Marc-Andre Fleury. 3. Marcus Johansson.

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