For 43 games, over 50 shots and over 2,500 minutes, nothing had gone in.
It finally did in this one – 42 seconds into the third period – on a snap shot from the right circle, buzzing its way through traffic.
Ask the guy, Joonas Donskoi, how nice it felt for the wait to be over.
“It’s a relief,” said Donskoi.
His first goal in nearly eight months – the last coming May 13 last year, in the season finale for the Colorado Avalanche against the Los Angeles Kings – sparked a Seattle Kraken rally that had a similar feel to the last two road rallies at Pittsburgh and Madison Square Garden. But, the Kraken fell short, 3-2 in a defeat in their first trip to visit the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at TD Garden.
“It’s been a tough year, we’ve been losing a lot of games and I just want to help the team,” said Donskoi. “I felt like I haven’t been able to do that this year. It’s nice to get that out of the way.”
Donskoi’s goal to help the Kraken (14-27-4, 32 points) slice a 2-0 deficit in half was followed up by Mason Appleton’s game-tying goal on a tip at the net. As goals can come in feast or famine fashion, perhaps it’s a necessary sign to unclog the pipes for Donskoi.
“I know I can score goals, I know I can better things offensively,” said Donskoi, five times a double digit goal scorer. “Hopefully this open things up and gets me going.”
At one point, while the goal-scoring well was bone dry, Donskoi led the Kraken in assists. He is still tied for second in that category (14).
“He’s never wavered as a teammate, he’s never had an ounce of selfishness in any shape or form,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol.
“Finally one had eyes today and found its way in went in. Hopefully that lets him breathe a bit and he’s able to get a few more.”
It took only over seven minutes into the third for the Kraken to come all the way back and tie it up. But Boston earned the game winner on David Pastrnak’s second of two power play goals (he leads Boston with 11 power play goals), a blast from the left circle that caromed off Kraken starter Chris Driedger’s glove.
It left the Kraken without two points for the second straight night and to reconcile a filing in the folder of “growth area” in their first season.
Special teams played a substantial impact: the Kraken came up empty on six opportunities, while the Bruins went 2-of-3.
“We had some opportunities on the power play that could have change that in terms of scoring earlier in the game,” said Hakstol. “We weren’t able to do that.”
“(Boston) did a real good job killing. Second period, we couldn’t find shooting lanes. Several shots blocked. A couple opportunities on the power play, we missed by a couple of inches.”
Driedger, making his first appearance since Jan. 15 against the Kings, stopped 23 shots just 24 hours after announcing an engagement to new fiancée Rachael via Instagram. Driedger, who spends his off-season in the Boston area, said he planned to do it Wednesday until the previously vacated date was filled with tomorrow’s rescheduled road game, 4pm PT against the New York Islanders.
“I had to think on my feet a little bit and got it done yesterday,” said Driedger.
The Kraken will face the Islanders in their first ever meeting at UBS Arena, completing a four-game road trip before the All-Star break.
NOTES: Calle Jarnkrok returned to the lineup and recorded two shots and blocked two more in 20:59 of ice time … brothers Haydn and Cale Fleury appeared together in an NHL game for the first time in their careers – Cale, called up from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, made his Kraken debut with a hit in 10:37 of ice time.
KRAKEN LINEUP, FEB. 1 VS BOSTON:
H. Fleury-C. Fleury