Jordan Eberle stayed hot.
Their power play came alive.
They led twice.
They got a go-ahead goal late in the second period.
Unfortunately for the Seattle Kraken, that’s where the game’s ultimate turning point turned their plans upside down, in a 4-2 defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
The Kraken, who perhaps come home at the right time to face a six-game homestand (where they are 3-2 in five home games), got offense from Jordan Eberle and Yanni Gourde, while snapping out of a seven-game power play drought.
Those next six games? Welcome from the home cooking standpoint. But for the most part, it's anything but a cakewalk. The Kraken will get their best shots at:
- Anaheim (Thurs): 7-4-3
- Minnesota (Sat): 8-3
- Chicago (11/17): 3-9-2
- Colorado (11/19): 4-5-1
- Washington (11/21): 6-2-4
- Carolina (11/24): 10-1
The Golden Knights, missing Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, William Karlsson, Nolan Patrick, Zach Whitecloud and blockbuster trade pick-up Jack Eichel, won for the sixth time in eight games while scoring three goals in a span of 1:32 (Evgenii Dadonov and two goals by Reilly Smith) after Gourde’s third goal of the year gave the Kraken a 2-1 lead late in the second period.
Chris Driedger, making his first start of the season, made 19 saves for the loss while Robin Lehner, a workhorse to begin the season, stopped 25 shots for the win.
The Kraken are done for games in Vegas, and won’t see the Golden Knights again until Mar. 30 at Climate Pledge Arena.
-Jordan Eberle’s seventh goal of the season, 4:49 into the game pushed his goal-scoring streak to three straight games, giving him seven in seven games after starting the season with a six-game goal scoring drought. He’s now tied for ninth in league goal scoring, along with 11 other names, but many of them in the “household” category (Anze Kopitar, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Alex DeBrincat).
-Eberle’s power play goal, breaking a team 0-of-23 drought, was a backhanded poke at the left side of the post to beat a diving Robin Lehner.
-Brandon Tanev’s assist on Gourde’s second period goal, after a cycling clinic in the offensive zone with Gourde and Joonas Donskoi, gave him 100 points for his NHL career.
-Gourde’s absence in the third period was a cause of concern, while he returned to the ice to score his goal after taking a point shot to the leg, he was notably absent for the last 16 minutes of the game, despite going a ridiculous 7-of-9 (78%) on face-offs.
-After Gourde’s absence (no further update by head coach Dave Hakstol at the end of the night), Riley Sheahan slid into the wing on while Jarnkrok (5-of-8 in face-offs), flanked all night with left winger Brandon Tanev, moved over to the center position.
-Marcus Johansson, grabbing an assist in his first game back from injury and since Oct. 12, provided consistent work with generating scoring opportunities along with linemates Morgan Geekie and Donskoi. The trio generated an advantage of 12-5 for shot attempts against opposing lines at full strength, and a 7-4 edge in scoring opportunities.
-This game marked the end of the tenth day for former leading scorer Jared McCann in COVID-19 protocol, where barring any unforeseen circumstances is eligible to be cleared for a return starting Wednesday.
FROM THE PODIUM:
Head coach Dave Hakstol on the game’s turn at the end of the second period:
“That was, you know, a response shift after a great shift in a goal scored at the end of the second period. We have to go into the second intermission up by one, so that's a goal that we can't give up. We got caught with an outnumbered situation at the net on a simple throw in and that's a little bit too easy.
Hakstol on the team’s mindset going home:
“We’ll reset. We also got to look at this, this is a hard loss. We worked really hard to be in a good position, going into the third period. That slipped away early in the third period. So we’ve got to reset, practice tomorrow and get ready for a game on Thursday night.”
Hakstol on plans to speak with the team tonight or at practice on Wednesday:
“Well our players know there was a lot of good things that happened there. Then they know how hard that they worked. There’s also probably some frustration with not being able to finish off and complete the 60 minutes. There were a couple different elements tonight that we'll address tomorrow and go right back to work and practice tomorrow at eleven o'clock.
Defenseman Mark Giordano on the outlook after Tuesday night’s loss:
“Well the positive is we're playing good hockey. We're finding ways to get leads but I think obviously it's been pretty devastating the past couple of games to have leads. We've had one, not a lead in Phoenix where we tied it late and then they scored right after and then tonight to get that lead late in the second, you want to go in with some momentum and we’ve just got to do a better job with that next shift , really important, I think. But that stuff is going to happen sometimes in a game and we can't we can't allow them to come out in the third like they did with momentum, and get the lead, and then you're fighting from behind. It's tough, tough building to come back.”
Giordano on the mindset going home:
“Well we're going home to our building. We think we've had a pretty good game at home. I think we took control of a lot of games there. We feed off our crowd. There's a lot of energy in our building. Bottom line is you know you can look at it like, you can't say the next six games, you have to win them all. You got to go one game at a time. We got to get back on track here. We got to get feeling good about ourselves. And you know, it seems like in tight games we got to find a way to still be able to make those plays. Stick to our game, find a way to get the lead ourselves.”
Forward Jordan Eberle on where the team’s mindset is after Wednesday night:
“You go back to the game we had Buffalo, we weren't going to lose that game. You could see it. But, everybody – it’s on myself, it’s on a lot of guys. We got to find ways to win games and understand situations where you can take a lead after a good first period, you can take a lead after a good second period and then things start slowing in the third. I mean, those are critical times in games scoring, shifts after goals when you when you have momentum. Those there are certain things I mean, that's stuff that we need to find our game.”