Kraken suffer another "frustrating" loss in Schwartz's return

Edmonton Oilers v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 02: Jaden Schwartz #17 of the Seattle Kraken looks on before the game against the Edmonton Oilers at Climate Pledge Arena on March 02, 2024 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Logan Thompson only needed to make 20 saves while Keegan Kolesar’s chip-in goal from the right post withstood a coach’s challenge to help the Vegas Golden Knights outlast the Seattle Kraken, 3-1 at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday night. 

The Kraken fell for the third time in four games to Vegas this season, only taking a Winter Classic win as their sole victory, head-to-head this season. Offensively, the Kraken have been struggling as they fell 13 points out of the playoff picture with only 14 games to go. 

Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol offered a silver lining. 

“Our effort was good,” said Hakstol. 

“We battled really hard all night, fought back to tie the game up, stayed with it on the power play in order to do that. So, in terms of the effort, from start to finish, it was complete.” 

Nonetheless, goals have been hard to come by, shots have been hard to come by, and scoring chances have been hard to come by. Since the trade deadline, a pivotal point in a season that began with hopes of a return to the playoffs, they are 0-5-1 in six games with just eight goals scored and have been outshot in five of those contests. They have controlled a mere 42 percent of shot quality at five-on-five in those six games, according to A playoff push has unfortuantely gravitated toward a countdown to an early summer.


An unmarked Jack Eichel chipped in a loose puck off Philipp Grubauer, who was outstanding on Thursday with 34 saves, for a 1-0 Vegas lead at 8:14 into the game. The Kraken special teams kept them in the game with a key pair of penalty kills in the second period and kept game close at just a 1-0 pace through 40 minutes. 

That’s when the return of a veteran forward, prolific in the “net-front presence” game, made his mark. Jaden Schwartz, back after missing four games with an upper body ailment, got a piece of Ryker Evans’ point shot while screening Thompson for a power play goal with 6:31 to go. 

Perhaps with game that tight and not much time left, chances would be hard to come by. Not in this case. Eeli Tolvanen hit the post later, and Kolesar, left unmarked at the net and in a similar spot where Eichel scored his goal, scooped in a loose puck with just 1:20 left, on a go-ahead goal that only stood up after Hakstol’s self-admitted coaches challenge for an alleged offside that failed to pass video review. 

“I believe it is offside,” said Hakstol. “Obviously it's a really close tight play at the line, and I feel the responsibility out of that because of how hard our guys fought.” 

The Kraken will visit Arizona to end the back-to-back set on Friday, 7pm PT at Mullett Arena (93.3 KJR/ Kraken Audio Network), and find another place to become rooted in confidence before the end of the regular season. 

“It’s frustrating for everybody,” said Schwartz. “We want to put our best foot forward. When things aren’t going your way, it’s easy to get mentally frustrated and have your mind go different directions. But we just have to stick together and climb out of this together.” 

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