Is this go for launch? Takeaways from a wild 5-4 OT win over the Red Wings

Seattle Kraken v Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 24: Jared McCann #19 of the Seattle Kraken celebrates his third period goal with teammates while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on October 24, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Hockey: sometimes it’s a steady and controlled pace that can lend to the predictable. Other time it’s a wild, chaotic, and disordered script that’s shredded by the third period, where we all sit back and enjoy the entertainment, complete with shades and popcorn (pick your flavor). 

Did we ever get an assortment of flavors on Tuesday night. Four lead changes, an extra attacker rally, and an overtime winner by Jordan Eberle with 4.9 seconds left lifted the Seattle Kraken to a thrilling and exhausting 5-4 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings before 16,894 fans at Little Caesars Arena. 

Jaden Schwartz scored a pair of goals, Jared McCann forced a tie game with 1:22 left in regulation, and Joey Daccord’s 23 saves were enough to stave off an electrifying Red Wings power play, that rallied from a 3-1 deficit with three straight goals on the man advantage in the third period to take the lead. 

An icy offense which betrayed the Kraken in the first two weeks is beginning to thaw: they have scored 13 goals in the last three games. 

Detroit’s Shayne Gostisbehere and Dylan Larkin each put up three point games while Ville Husso made 33 saves for the overtime loss. 

Three takeaways from the game: 

1.     Veteran leadership and top players showed up. To win this game, the Kraken had to get veteran leadership in different forms. Jaden Schwartz showed up with two goals (and has 3 power play goals this season). Matty Beniers – still in search of his first goal of the season – still delivered a pair of assists including his second to McCann’s game tying goal, after the Red Wings and Dylan Larkin took a self-detonating hooking penalty with 1:48 left. Jordan Eberle, saddled with a pair of penalties including a third period trip to the box which turned into Detroit’s first goal in their rally, found the perfect time to deposit his first goal of the season – in crunch time. 

There were about 30 ways the Kraken could have lost this game, but refused to do so. If they are about to embark on a major run, bookmark this win as the launching point. 

2.     Depth offense and five-on-five play are turning the corner. Penalties cost the Kraken their lead in the third period, but outside of the scope of discipline, you couldn’t ask for much more. Don’t forget the identity of the Kraken: one of the most unrestricted set-ups for an offense across four lines, featuring scoring punch from any combo, and balanced minutes. Seven forwards and at least one player from the top three lines recorded a point or better in the game. Through two periods, the Kraken didn’t record a single giveaway (they had one the entire game). They won the face-off battle at 52 percent. They crushed the Red Wings in five-on-five shot attempts, 65-39 and in shot quality (60%). 

Only one goal found a way to pierce their defense and Joey Daccord: a second period tally by Joe Veleno. 

3.     The power play is turning the corner. This is an even more serious vital sign, given the fact they just lost Andre Burakovsky last Saturday and won’t see him until December. The Kraken went 2-of-5 on the power play and since last Thursday’s win over Carolina, are motoring at 33 precent (4-of-12). Dave Hakstol has routinely challenged the Kraken not to “bear down” so much as to execute better, with generating offense. But make no mistake: Schwartz’s goal, to start the offense, came from between the circles, where he makes a living. 

Jared McCann’s goal to tie the game was a rocket from the right circle, where his shot is a lethal option. Ville Husso barely saw it, because he was screened by …. guess who … Jaden Schwartz. 

Dirty work in front of the net opened up the offense, and now the Kraken have new life heading into Carolina on Thursday (4pm PT, 93.3 KJR-FM / Kraken Audio Network).

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