Robert Thomas scored just 1:29 into the third period, followed by Pavel Buchnevich’s eventual game winner at 5:30 as the Seattle Kraken fell, 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday at Enterprise Center.
Holding a 1-0 lead through 40 minutes and threatening to end the Blues run of 12 straight games with a home win or point, the Kraken got a first period goal from Alex Wennberg.
In net, a strong effort from Chris Driedger, who had 25 saves, held the Blues off the board with 20 saves through two periods before Thomas broke through with his fourth goal of the season, shortly after Max McCormick’s holding penalty at 5:18 of the third period.
“It’s a team effort and I don’t think anyone’s satisfied without getting two points,” said Driedger. “We’re in one of those stretches where we’ve got to figure out a way to win.
“We’re going into third periods up and giving them away. We need to do a little bit of soul searching and find a way to get the job done.”
The Kraken penalty kill, facing the Blues second ranked power play unit, extinguished the first four Blues opportunities and helped preserve a second period lead despite playing shorthanded three times.
St. Louis went 1-of-5 on the power play.
One final attempt to open the door for overtime failed to materialize when Brandon Saad went off for a hooking penalty with 2:15 left in regulation. Driedger was pulled for a sixth attacker, creating a tense six-on-four skating situation favoring the Kraken who pelted pucks on net in the final seconds. Ville Husso held on for the final of his 31 stops to preserve his win.
“Tonight, hard fought,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “Our specialty teams on the PK side did a really good job. The fifth minor penalty was a turning point in the game and we weren’t able to get a kill. That can’t happen but I’m not going to put the whole hockey game just on that play.”
The Kraken will open a six game homestand at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday, 7pm against the Los Angeles Kings.