Ryan Donato left in free agency. Joonas Donskoi was still close enough to his old teammates to play this game with meaning. Alexander True was taken in the expansion draft.
They all started together on the same line for the opening face-off, and the cheeky maneuver paid off as the Seattle Kraken, patiently waiting for the third period to strike, beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Tuesday at SAP Center.
The former Sharks were all on the ice when breaking open a scoreless tie with a Donato rebound goal, also opening the door for Donskoi to collect his 200th point.
"I think there might have been something a little bit extra," said Donato of his celebration live on Kraken postgame coverage.
"We've been in the situation a couple times, we've played with a lead and we're getting a little more comfortable with that."
Chris Driedger, successfully rebounding from a stint on injured reserve, turned in another first star effort (33 saves) for his third consecutive win in net. James Reimer, unbreakable until Donato's goal 6:23 into the third period, took the loss for San Jose.
The Kraken built on their lead with Brandon Tanev's ninth goal of the year and while San Jose cut it to a one-goal game on Logan Couture's extra attacker goal with 2:07 left, Calle Jarnkrok sealed the game with an empty netter with six seconds left.
With their second win over a division opponent sealed up, they now focus on the second of back-to-back night games, Wednesday at 7pm against the Anaheim Ducks.