Giordano gets to 1,000, Ovechkin gets 3 points as Kraken fall 5-2

Seattle Kraken v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: Vince Dunn #29 and Jared McCann #16 of the Seattle Kraken go after the puck against Evgeny Kuznetsov #92 of the Washington Capitals in the first period at Capital One Arena on March 05, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin scored his 34th goal of the season and added a pair of assists to help the Washington Capitals break free of a tie game, scoring three unanswered goals to defeat the Seattle Kraken, 5-2 on Saturday at Capital One Arena before 18,573 fans. 

The two teams split the two-game regular season series, with the finale offering a tale of two different games: one at five-one-five, the other on special teams. 

The Kraken outshot Washington, 31-25 and owned a 55 percent advantage in full strength shot quality. 

The Capitals earned two power play opportunities, needing nothing more to bury two power play goals. 

“It was a good power play we were playing against, but there’s a lot of things we could have done better,” said forward Joonas Donskoi. “(Ovechkin’s) one of, if not the biggest threat out there, so you try to make plans to take him away. But it’s not easy.” 

The loss spoiled defenseman and captain Mark Giordano’s 1,000th career NHL game, amid a feverish lead-up to the game which included an entire Kraken squad donning customized black-colored team hats with “G1000” embroidered across the cap. 

Giordano became the 364th player, all-time, to play in 1,000 career NHL games. He was in the starting lineup with fellow blueliner Carson Soucy and logged the second most ice time (20:51) while getting in the way of an errant puck late in the second period, when the Kraken were down by a goal. 

Ovechkin, whose 764th career goal moved him to within two of Jaromir Jagr for third all-time in NHL history, took a cross-ice pass from John Carlson and uncorked a trademark one-timer from the left circle for an early third period insurance power play goal, 47 seconds after puck drop. 

“They won the special teams side,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “Score wise that was the difference in the game.” 

The Kraken outshot Washington 10-6 in the first period but found a 2-0 hole when Tom Wilson went to the net on a backhander with 8:30 left and Dmitry Orlov’s blast from the left wing leaked through Chris Driedger’s five hole just 34 seconds later. 

Joonas Donskoi’s second goal of the year, breaking a 10-game drought, cut the deficit to 2-1 on a rebound at the right circle with 3:04 left in the period. 

“This group hasn’t gone downhill, they haven’t gone away,” said Hakstol. “Defensively we played really hard. There were two stretches in the first half of the game where we got a little loose, they got some outnumbered rushes.” 

“But I’ll accept a couple, we tracked back hard enough to take those away.” 

Colin Blackwell tied the game just 58 seconds into the second period and has scored in back-to-back games. 

Conor Sheary’s first of two goals restored Washington’s lead on their first power play goal at 11:48 of the second period, and after Ovechkin’s third period goal, he put the game away with an empty netter with 2:10 to play. 

Jaden Schwartz, returning for his first game since Dec. 29, logged 18:12 of ice time with six shots and Jared McCann, back  after heading to injured reserve on Feb. 24, put up three shots in 16:21 of ice time. 

The Kraken have a lightning quick turnaround to their next game, Sunday in their second and final meeting of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes at 4pm PT (950 KJR / Kraken Audio Network) from PNC Arena. 




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