A vintage night for 37-year old Zach Parise delivered two goals with an assist to help the New York Islanders skate past the Seattle Kraken, 5-2 on Tuesday night to open a brief, two-game home pit stop before a sellout crowd of 17,151 at Climate Pledge Arena.
The teams split the two-game series after the Kraken defeated the Islanders, 3-0 in the inaugural matchup on Feb. 2. The Kraken fell behind 4-0 on Tuesday, eventually slicing the deficit to a two-goal margin before Parise’s second goal on an empty netter with 1:58 left put the game out of reach.
“We dug ourselves a pretty deep hole early in the hockey game,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “Several outnumbered opportunities, I don’t know if we got a puck on net on three or four of those opportunities.”
Yanni Gourde snapped out of an eight-game goal drought to stop the Islanders run on his 11th goal of the season, 11:18 into the second period, stashing a snap shot from an offensive zone face-off win.
What followed was a consistent surge of Kraken scoring opportunities and puck possession in the offensive zone.
Mark Giordano hit the post late in the second period. Scoring chances continued to build. Eventually, Riley Sheahan cashed in on a bounce off the backboards to cut the gap to 4-2 just 1:35 into the third period, and Morgan Geekie was stopped on a glorious opportunity to slice the deficit to a single goal, denied by Ilya Sorokin’s glove side.
“You feel the strain of where you’re at in your own building, down by three or four goals,” said Hakstol. “You finally get one and that just gave us a jolt of energy. From there it was a flip of the switch for the next 30 minutes.”
Mat Barzal made his return to the Puget Sound for the first time in five years since helping lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a WHL title, with the Thunderbirds themselves in attendance. Barzal logged an assist on Parise’s first period goal at 17:19 to put the Islanders up 2-0, and logged four shots on net.
Sorokin got the win in net with 23 stops, while Philipp Grubauer took the loss with 31 saves.
The Kraken return to home ice on Thursday, hosting the Boston Bruins at 7pm (950 KJR / Kraken Audio Network).
KRAKEN LINEUP VS. NY ISLANDERS: