Taking steps forward in a road trip ending 2-1 shootout loss at St. Louis

Seattle Kraken v St Louis Blues

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 14: Pavel Buchnevich #89 of the St. Louis Blues checks Alex Wennberg #21 of the Seattle Kraken in the first period at Enterprise Center on October 14, 2023 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images North America

Robert Thomas’ shootout goal in the third round stood as the eventual winner, spoiling a solid effort from Joey Daccord in net for the Seattle Kraken, who dropped a 2-1 shootout defeat to the St. Louis Blues before 18,096 fans at Enterprise Center on Saturday. 

The Kraken came up empty on a three-game road trip (0-2-1) to begin the season and have still found scoring goals hard to come by – they have just two in the first three games. Yet, it took a strong effort Jordan Benington and his 30 saves to hold off the Kraken, who had a first period goal wiped off the board for goaltender interference and hit a pair of goal posts in the first and third period. 

“Really good road game tonight,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “Well played road game. We did a lot of things we want to do on the road - generate good offense, and special teams were solid. Our (penalty kill) did a really good job, yet our power play didn’t get enough opportunities.” 


Jordan Kyrou, scoring for the fourth time in six meetings against the Kraken, answered Jaden Schwartz’s second period goal before the two teams battled through a scoreless stalemate in the third period and overtime. 

Takeaways from the game: 

1.     Patience is a virtue, isn’t it?   

There seem to be games where you just have to wait for the levee to break. This game is one of them. The Kraken nearly did everything right, again, but get a finishing touch. They controlled play, forcefully, in the first period. Their penalty kill bailed them out of trouble four times. They went to the “dirty areas” (a.k.a. the top of the crease) to score one goal, then have another taken away for contact on Jordan Binnington. 

But when a team scuffles for offense, the general rule of thumb says it won’t come easy. A bounce, deflection, or lucky break is what tends to restore confidence. Perhaps the Kraken are starting to find theirs. The good news, it’s still early in the season. There would be more concern about their game if they were blown out or hung on defensively just to get to overtime. This game, they had control. 

2.     Joey Daccord looked nearly unflappable. Daccord’s first game in net turned out to be a good one. Though he wasn’t as busy as Jordan Binnington, who was nearly flawless, he was still effective. Daccord, who brings a bonus weapon with his ability to scoot the puck up ice, found his busiest period in the third and underwent a little more pressure than normal during the final five minutes. 

“I felt pretty good in there,” said Daccord. “Nice to get back in a real game.” 

Though Kyrou beat him in the second period, Daccord was inserted in a game offering little to no margin for error. He was nearly letter perfect and gave the Kraken another solid piece of evidence that their crease is perfectly stable to begin the season. 

3.     The face-off circle took a big leap. Perhaps another encouraging sign of circumstances turning around was performing at the face-off circle. Playing to the tune of 60 percent for the game is impressive. The Kraken were nearly flawless though on special teams, where the genesis of a game-changing play can take effect. They were perfect on two draws for their only power play on the night (eventually turning into the Schwartz goal), and four-of-five on the kill. 

“Every time you can start with the puck a little bit more, it’s a benefit,” said Hakstol. 

Matty Beniers, who won 11 of 20 draws, was very good. Alex Wennberg, who won 7 of 9, was nearly lights out. Those two anchor the top two scoring lines for the Kraken, who are frequently deployed in the game. The kind of progress that was made on Saturday night pushed the Kraken in the right direction. 

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