Andre Burakovsky corralled a pass at the right circle, loaded up, and sent Tuesday night into the historical space of a game we’ll be talking about for a long time, maybe forever.
Burakovsky’s second of two goals, on the power play, ended one of the greatest offensive slugfests in over 30 years of NHL history as the Seattle Kraken set new franchise benchmarks in a wild, unhinged, and exhausting 9-8 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings before 13,215 fans at Crypto.com Arena.
Ah, the ol’ 17 goals in one NHL game way of winning. And how do the Kraken feel about this?
“Crazy game,” said head coach Dave Hakstol.
“End of the day, it was one of those games where last shot wins. Better to be on the winning side of it, the good side than the other.”
Even ask the guy, who is paid to score goals, and leads the Kraken in points.
“Kind of a messed up night,” said Burakovsky.
“We were trading chances. A lot of sloppy plays. I think we played a really bad game, so did they. We were lucky, they didn’t play good at home. I think we have a lot to clean up on the defensive side.”
To say the Kraken allowed 19 goals in the last four games, and still won them all, is a testimony to how much times have changed. They still buried a franchise record nine goals and outlasted the Kings with another franchise record for most combined goals in a game, which also finished four off the NHL record last set in 1985 (when the Oilers beat the Blackhawks, 12-9).
Tied at 3-3 after 20 minutes, the Kraken and Kings ripped off six goals in under ten minutes, vaulting the tie to an obscene 8-6 Kraken lead through 40 minutes. Entertainment and production was accompanied with chaos, and the Kraken applied themselves with one message as the game got late, got tight, and had to fend off one last two-goal Kings comeback in the third period:
“Stick with it,” said Jared McCann.
They stuck with it, ending November 10-1-1 in a 12 game span, and sitting four points out of the top record in the Western Conference behind the Vegas Golden Knights.
Jordan Eberle had four assists, Justin Schultz and Alex Wennberg each had three point games, and Matty Beniers, McCann, and Burakovsky scored twice.
More on Jones below, who was opposed by Jonathan Quick, who couldn’t get out of the second period with five goals allowed on 14 shots. Cal Petersen, who took the overtime loss, stopped 12 of 16 shots.
1. Firewagon hockey! Great for the fans! And yes, we know, a headache for coaches. Let’s be real. Let’s be honest. These games don’t happen often. Nor, in this day and age well removed from 1991, should they happen often. Final scores of 4-3 and 3-2 are more of the norm these days, rather than 7-5 or 8-6. Or, even 9-8, four goals shy of the NHL record for most combined goals in a game. Teams have proven to need a dedicated defensive approach and elite goaltending to win in the playoffs. Coaches will reiterate that valid philosophy, over and over. But as the National Hockey League is an entertainment-based sport, offense sells.
You couldn't take your eyes off this one. Twitter was lit up with discussion on the Kraken and this game, rarely seen on a level as Tuesday night. It tied the NHL record for most game tying goals (6) in a game. The 17 goals, combined, were tied for the fourth most in league history dating back to 1987. There is beauty found in sports, standing the test of time, when a game is so chaotic, unpredictable, exhausting, and riveting to make us say “unbelievable.”
2. Finding a way to win. Again. Remember when the Kraken were scraping to just score three goals in a game last season? Repeatedly, questions have been answered time after time about their ability to produce offense, with a committee approach. Since a 1-0 shutout loss at Minnesota, the top three lines have stayed constant and at even strength, the Kraken have scored a whopping 27 goals: an average of 3.8 per game (that’s not taking into account of the Kraken scoring seven power play goals in that span). On Tuesday, defense was optional. Martin Jones became the first goaltender (Mike Vernon in a 10-8 Flames win over the Quebec Nordiques) since the 1990-91 season to allow eight goals and win. He survived. You hear from Dave Hakstol often about the importance of “defending as a unit of five.” Expect tweaks to come after a chaotic week, yet producing three wins on a critical Pacific Division road trip.
The Kraken statement-making November, vaulting into playoff spot contender status with a franchise-best 10 wins in the month, included resilient overtime victories (Rangers), dominant victories (Predators), responsible victories (Golden Knights), and track meet-style victories (Sharks, Ducks, Kings). Pardon the cliché, but they’re finding ways to win, not more reasons to lose. And here they are, four points out of the top spot in the Western Conference.
3. Matty Beniers, man on fire. We know, he’s becoming a regular in this space. But it’s hard to ignore him, and it’s scary to fathom what Beniers is doing to just merely scratch the surface, perhaps, of a prolific NHL career. He’s just weeks removed from entering his 20’s. He’s months removed from passing the NHL eye test. He now leads all NHL rookies with 20 points in 21 games – a whopping six ahead of the next guy, Cole Perfetti in Winnipeg. Coming out of a six-game point drought, his latest run is now at 11 points in five games. Facing tougher matchups, he’s demonstrated poise, control, and results that continue to scream “Calder Trophy” at this stage of the season. It's fun to watch for Kraken fans, and a wonder for what could be a star in the making.
The Kraken open a three-game homestand on Thursday, 7pm PT (93.3 KJR/Kraken Audio Network) against the Washington Capitals.
LINEUP, KRAKEN AT LOS ANGELES, 11/29: