For a game as sleepy as the first two periods showed on Wednesday, the third period delivered a different feel suitable to end a scoreless slumber:
A wake-up call.
The Seattle Kraken answered the bell with three unanswered goals – Jared McCann, Vince Dunn, and an empty netter by Mason Appleton – to stifle the New York Islanders in a 3-0 victory at UBS Arena.
Closing the road trip at 2-2, the Kraken completed an effort with seven goals in all combined third periods, taking both losses from tied games in the final periods against the Rangers and Boston Bruins.
“This is the kind of game everyone is going to be involved in,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol.
“Really rewarding to finish off this road trip, two and two. I think we deserved a little better for the two games in between, but you throw all of that aside and we had the opportunity in front of us to get a good win and do that.”
Jordan Eberle helped the Kraken take two points in his first return to face the Islanders since being selected in the expansion draft, recognized with a tribute video during a break in the first period. Philipp Grubauer, easing his way into the game’s workload, made 19 saves for the first shutout in Kraken history and only had to 11 saves through the first two periods.
It was a healthy combination of a lockdown approach, and a goaltender gaining confidence. Grubauer, in his last seven games, is 5-2 with a .918 save percentage and 2.14 goals-against-average.
He said he had no idea that the win earned his first career Kraken shutout.
“I didn’t think about that yet,” said Grubauer, with 19 shutouts in his NHL career. “Great game from everybody. I don’t think they had too many chances. Today, it’s been the least scoring chances we’ve given up for a long, long time.”
“Feels good to get that one.”
Jared McCann’s sharp angled shot from the base of the right circle caromed off Semyon Varlamov for a 1-0 lead at 6:04 of the third period to break a scoreless tie and Vince Dunn’s sizzling backhander just 2:31 later put the Kraken up 2-0.
Mason Appleton, scoring in back to back games, sealed the victory on an empty netter with two seconds left.
The Kraken now have six days off around the NHL All-Star break, returning to play Wednesday, Feb. 9 at home against the Arizona Coyotes at 7pm PT (950 KJR / Kraken Audio Network).