Markstrom stops 21 shots in first Kraken pre-season loss

New Jersey Devils v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 16: Matty Beniers #10 of the Seattle Kraken warms up before the game against the New Jersey Devilsat Climate Pledge Arena on April 16, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Eventually all perfect runs come to an end, and the Seattle Kraken faced theirs on Monday. 

With a 4-0 pre-season record that means nothing with regards to progress in the standings, but proof of subtle improvements, the Kraken surrendered the first three goals of the game, falling 4-1 to the Calgary Flames before 16,045 fans at Scotiabank Saddledome. 

“We didn’t have any legs, right from the drop of the puck,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol.  “On the walls tonight, we weren’t engaged enough and weren’t good enough in that area.” 

Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves for the win, besting Martin Jones’ 21 stops. 

Chris Tanev buried a wrist shot from the right circle for a 1-0 lead, 7:44 into the game after he fired a shot off the leg of Matty Beniers (who was shaken up on the play but would return shortly later), gathered the loose puck, and scored the game’s opening goal. 

Michael Stone scored on a power play blast from the left circle at 5:33 of the second period and Noah Hanifin snuck a long-range point shot through traffic to bump the lead to three with 4:11 left, leaving the Kraken searching for answers after same-day travel from Seattle by plane. 

They got one early on the third period, and by a young, consistent resource. Matty Beniers, taking a cross-ice pass from Alex Wennberg, fired a one-timer past Markstrom from the right circle to cut the deficit to two goals at 2:22. 

“I missed a few last couple games in that spot, I didn’t want to have that happen again – at least, miss the net,” said Beniers. “Just making sure I got it on net.” 

But the Flames didn’t need a lot of time respond. Blake Coleman snuck to the bottom of the circle and beat Martin Jones from a sharp angle just 9:32 left. 

It ended a frustrating night where the Kraken weren’t able to find an extra gear, were suffocated on generating the transition game through the neutral zone and were limited to a 1-of-5 effort on the power play. 

Hakstol said the Kraken learned a little bit more of potential roster decisions, where final cuts are expected to take place after the pre-season wraps up Friday in Edmonton. Until then, the Kraken won’t return home, using three days off in between games for practice and a private getaway – a luxury the Kraken and other NHL teams weren’t able to utilize last season due to pandemic regulation restrictions. 

“Just to be able to spend time together is the biggest thing,” said Hakstol.  

NOTES: Morgan Geekie, roughed up in a collision, left the game and would return to play 8:17 of the game …. Beniers has three goals in three pre-season games … Yanni Gourde, who missed morning skate due to illness, was scratched from the game … defenseman Justin Schultz participated in morning line rushes but sat for the game in place of Jamie Oleksiak … Shane Wright, appearing in his fourth straight pre-season game, skated in 16:11 of ice time and logged a shot on net …. He almost bagged his second point of the pre-season when he found Jordan Eberle, on a give-and-go rush, and Eberle hit the post from the right circle.  

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