Eberle’s OT goal gives Kraken playoff victory and new life

In a season of firsts, the Seattle Kraken hockey team recorded its biggest first ever.

When Jordan Eberle scored off a pass from Jaden Schwartz at 3:00 of overtime, the power play goal gave the Kraken their first overtime playoff win ever. More importantly, the Kraken are now deadlocked at two games apiece with the Colorado Avalanche, the defending Stanley Cup champions in the best-of-seven opening round of the NHL playoffs. Game five takes place tomorrow night at Denver’s Ball Arena. The win guarantees at least one more game at Climate Pledge – game six is Friday night and game seven if needed on Sunday.

Schwartz took the original shot that was kicked out by Avs’ netminder Alexandar Georgiev. But the disc came back to Schwartz who slid a pass over to Eberle who placed a shot in the upper left-hand corner. The sellout crowd exploded and Kraken players came off the bench to mob Eberle and have a group celebration.

“A lot of playoffs goals this year have been on the power play,” Eberle noted. “That’s been a sore spot for us in this series. But we got a power play early and that got us jump-started. And we were shooting tonight. Maybe we got too fancy (in earlier games).”

Another first for Seattle fans, the Kraken faithful found a player they legitimately hated – Colorado defenseman Cale Makar-

Makar drove Kraken forward Jared McCann into the boards after a puck went out of play. McCann was down on the ice for several seconds and after a conference between the four officials, Makar was assessed with a five minute penalty for boarding. However, the officials retracted and changed it to a two-minute penalty. Kraken fans, who were also unhappy with the officiating in Saturday night’s game, let out a cascade of boos followed by the usual derogatory chant aimed at officials. Meanwhile McCann was helped to the bench and was out for the remainder of the game. Makar was booed every time he touched the puck the remainder of the game, the first visiting player to ever draw the response from Kraken fans.

Nevertheless, the Kraken capitalized with a shortened power play (Yanni Gourde was in the penalty box when Makar was penalized). After scoring on only one power play in 11 tries in the first three games, Justin Schultz found Daniel Sprong in the slot, who fired his elite shot home, That gave Seattle a 2-0 lead for the third time in four games.

Defenseman Will Borgen opened the scoring at 3:56 after a successful Seattle power play, taking a pass from defense partner Adam Larsson (at least on this shift) and drilling a shot from the right point.

“What I saw live and what I watched after the period on video is a late hit,” said Seattle coach Dave Hakstol after the game . “Where the puck is out of play. I believe the puck is being caught by a fan as Canner is being run into the wall. “

After having a lengthy discussion with referee Trevor Hanson at the next TV timeout, Hakstol said he was told the referees downgraded the original major call to a two-minute minor because the hit came when “a puck was in play at the battle.”

“Obviously I disagree with that assessment,” said Hakstol, “whether that’s by the refs or Toronto (where goals and penalties are reviewed on video by the league). It’s not an accurate assessment of the play.”

Hakstol announced that McCann would be out of the lineup on Wednesday night and didn’t sound optimistic about his leading goal scorer returning for future games. McCann, a 40-goal scorer in the regular season, didn’t record a goal in the first three games of the series, but made his presence felt in the first period. McCann had four shots on goal (at one point the Kraken had a 10-1 shot advantage) before leaving the game.

The rest of the period featured hard hitting and intensity (not unusual for Stanley Cup playoff games) along with some pushing and shoving after whistles. Not surprisingly the first period ended with a scrum that started between Seattle’s Vince Dunn and Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen. It ended with an entanglement between the Kraken’s Yanni Gourde and Avs’ defenseman Josh Manson. As the refs pulled them apart, it sounded like the entire arena began a `Yanni, Yanni’ chant for the player Kraken TV announcers call the ‘pepper pot.’

“The fans are so great,” said Gourde. “This building gets so loud .They love the team and they’ve been supporting us the first two years. It’s so good to play in playoff games in front of them.”

The Avs tied the game in the second period behind two goals from their elite sharp-shooter Rantanen, his fourth and fifth goals of the series. At 14:08 of the second period, Rantanen made an elite move around Alex Wennberg in the slot and fired a shot home. Then with Borgen in the penalty box, Rantanen scored on a power play. With the Avs pressuring in the offensive zone, Rantanen scored off a cross pass from Sam Girard.

For the third time in the series, the teams went into the third period deadlocked. But unlike game three on Saturday night, the Avs didn’t take control of the game in the third period. Kraken fans thought their team had a third period goal. With Schwartz and Brandon Tanev battling in front of the net, Schwartz may or may not, have shot the puck over the goal line. It was difficult to see on the replay, but the officials ruled that the puck was covered up before it went over the goal line.

That set the stage for Eberle’s game winner set up by Schwartz after Sprong brought the puck into the zone. At the other end, goalie Philipp Grubauer turned in another solid effort against his former team, stopping 20 Colorado shots.

“We stayed with our game tonight,” said Hakstol. “We have to keep up our intensity and we did tonight. We pushed back. These guys (the Kraken) have a lot of confidence.”

“I thought we played well,” said Eberle. “We had a lot of good chances. We’ve been the underdog all year long and now we’re tied 2-2.”


  • The Kraken, who had 22 hits in game one, finished last night with 52 body checks. Surprisingly, the Kraken won 37 faceoffs to the Avalanche’s 29. Faceoffs have been a bugaboo in the past for Seattle, particularly in this series. Dave Hakstol had complained that the Avs were `cheating’ on faceoffs in previous games, putting their sticks down to early.
  • The Coachella Valley Firebirds have advanced to the second-round of the American Hockey League playoffs. The Birds defeated the Tucson Roadrunners, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon to take the best-of-three series, two games to one. Shane Wright, the Kraken’s number-one pick in the 2022 amateur draft, scored the game winner, his first AHL playoff goal off a pass from David Goyette, the Kraken’s second round pick in the 2021 draft. Wright and Goyette were assigned to Coachella Valley once their junior seasons ended in Canada. Netminder Joey Daccord made 31 saves, earning second star of the game honors. Kole Lind had two goals and Ville Petman and Tye Kartye had the other markers.
  • Coachella now face the Colorado Eagles, the AHL affiliate of guess who? The Colorado Avalanche. The series begins Wednesday and Thursday night in Loveland, Co. and games three (plus four and five if necessary) take place beginning next weekend at Coachella’s Acrisure Arena.
  • Last night’s game ended a 12-game winning streak on the road by the Avalanche going back to the regular season. They were also 16-1-0 on the road in their previous 17 games.


First Period

S- Will Borgen (Adam Larsson, Brandon Tanev) 3:56. S- Darren Sprong (Justin Schultz) PPG 10:29.

Second Period

S- Mikko Rantanen (Nathan MacKinnon, Evan Rodrigues) 14:08. S- Rantanen (MacKinnon, Rodrigues) PP 14:09.

Third Period

No scoring.

First Overtime Period

S- Jordan Eberle (Jaden Schwartz, Daniel Sprong) 3:00.

Shots on Goal- Colorado 22, Seattle 43.

Penalty Minutes- Colorado 12, Seattle 6.

Referees- Eric Furlatt, Trevor Hanson. Linesmen- Jonny Murray, Travis Gawryletz. Standby Official- Tom Chmielewski

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