Two goals in 17 seconds by the Darryl Sutter-led Calgary Flames, to bust a tie game, are often the recipe for a death knell. This time, the Seattle Kraken fought with resistance, finding new ways to stay alive.
Following a timeout called by head coach Dave Hakstol, they scored three goals in 4:55 to roar back with a remarkable rally, and defeat the Flames, 5-4 before 16,803 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday night.
“Some wins are going to be ugly, some are going to be nice,” defenseman Carson Soucy told 93.3 KJR-FM immediately after the game.
“It’s kind of the confidence in our group, knowing we can skate with these guys.”
For the first time since Oct. 13 when they were 1-0-1, the Kraken have ascended above the .500 mark and are 5-4-2 (12 points).
Soucy, who grew up in nearby Irma, a four-hour drive from Calgary, scored his first goal of the season while Oliver Bjorkstrand logged a pair of assists, Yanni Gourde tied the game on the team’s second shorthanded goal of the season, and Matty Beniers parked the game winner on an odd man rush with 6:34 left in regulation.
Joey Daccord, pressed into starting duty on an AHL call-up while Martin Jones remained at home to handle a personal matter, earned a win in his season debut with a career-high 36 stops.
COMPLETE RADIO GAME HIGHLIGHTS
1. No sugar-coating the most important thing, resolve: The Kraken were out-shot (40-26), out-hit (24-18), out-chanced (12-7, “high danger” areas), and lost the battle at the face-off circle (Calgary went 62%). There’s this thing though called “will,” and it’s a powerful thing. Joey Daccord arguably set the table with a highlight-reel save on Trevor Lewis, keeping the game within reach at 4-2. Sensing opportunity, the Kraken executed to perfection on a third period power play after Brett Ritchie was called for interference – Daniel Sprong belted a one-timer for a 4-3 deficit, 47 seconds later.
Yanni Gourde pounced on an egregious Calgary mistake at the Kraken blueline and scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway. Then after Milan Lucic coughed up the puck with less than seven minutes left, the Kraken sped away on a three-on-one, and Matty Beniers made good on Jordan Eberle’s cross-ice pass.
They would not be denied, against a team that’s still a favorite out of the Western Conference.
2. Fisticuffs spike the pulse: Nikita Zadorov needed to get a lifeless crowd in Calgary going, and found a dance partner in Jamie Oleksiak. The duo are no shorter than 6-foot-6, combining for 500 pounds in a fight that ultimately brought the Kraken to life after Oleksiak landed a series of uppercuts on his Calgary counterpart. The two finished a point shy of the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” (a goal, assist, and fight in the same game) – Zadorov scored in the second period, and Oleksiak earned an assist on Morgan Geekie’s second period goal. It capped a first period the Kraken needed to set the tone.
3. Another step forward for the penalty kill: All secrets removed, this has been the area among special teams the Kraken have struggled with the most, ranking toward the bottom of the league through the first eighth of the schedule. With the Flames lining up weapons such as Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau (though, struggling too), and Elias Lindholm, the task for a clean sheet against Calgary’s eighth ranked power play was a borderline "must” in stealing a win out of their only trip to the Saddledome. The Kraken penalty kill came up huge in two moments: turning momentum around after an unsuccessful coach’s challenge on Kadri’s second period goal, and then Gourde’s swipe at the blueline to tie the game in the third period. The Kraken held the Flames power play in check, at 0-of-4.
The Kraken next visit the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, 5pm PT (93.3 KJR FM / Kraken Audio Network) at Xcel Energy Center.