A resurgent game after another win over Anaheim

Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken

Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken are at a place where the long-term future has entered the picture: habits, culture, and standard among the terms to build a winner. The short-term stuff – the Stanley Cup Playoffs dream for this year – is on the verge of extinction. 

They are 14 points out with ten games to play. But that didn’t stop impressive moments from coming into play on Thursday night, when the Kraken turned a sleeper of two periods into a volatile, unpredictable, and at times, onery final run of 20 minutes, when they rallied with three unanswered goals to beat the Ducks, 4-2 and run the table in a rare two-game series before a sellout crowd at Climate Pledge Arena. 

“Our power play answered,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol.

But what did it boil down to? 

“I’m going to peg three guys,” said Hakstol. “I thought Tanev, Gourde and ‘Karts’ dragged us back into this game. Point blank. You need that from guys in your room, guys on your bench, guys that can recognize that moment of the hockey game and go out and raise their level.” 

Basically, the Kraken were in danger of an egg-on-face third period when a 1-0 lead went up in smoke on one power play, when Anaheim scored a rare pair of shorthanded goals on the same sequence, and then Jared McCann took a high-sticking minor.

But more chances arrived – and the power play actually turned out to be money in the bank on Thursday night, when the Kraken enjoyed three man advantage goals on a whopping 10 chances – thank the Ducks, who couldn’t stay out of the box. Trevor Zegras, after responding by nearly getting beat by Brandon Tanev in the neutral zone with a holding penalty, delivered a two-handed cross-check after the whistle to Tanev for all the world to see – then capped the trip to the sin bin by going “Hulk smash” on a ROOT Sports penalty box camera

Andre Burakovsky delivered a dart to tie the game on the ensuing power play. While the back end of the double minor failed to deliver the game tying goal, Yanni Gourde and Tye Kartye did not, connecting on a gorgeous set-up to Kartye between the circles, to deliver the ultimate sonic boom for a 3-2 lead with 6:57 to go. 

Matty Beniers wrapped it up with his 12th goal, with 4:25 to play, and the Kraken are on the verge of three wins in a row for the first time since January. 

Three things to look for heading into the Dallas game (Saturday, 7pm PT)


It’s only the Ducks, they say. Beniers has 15 points in seven combined games against Anaheim in his career, feasting on them with a pair of goals and four points in the last two games. But Beniers pointed out his game is coming back on track. Which leads to the long-game: if this season is a lost cause, a strong finish would create a respectable blueprint to use heading into the summer with his game, and next season, where eyes will be on the young center to deliver offensively again. 

2.        THE KIDS 

We’re speaking of Tye Kartye, Logan Morrison and Ryan Winterton – who were muted as a line together and wound up in the minus for shot attempt and shot quality differential at five-on-five. But they were entrusted with key ice time over the last couple of games, and Kartye was rewarded with the game winning goal, set up by Gourde, while drawing key penalties. Presuming there are no lineup changes they’ll face a stiffer test in Dallas on Saturday, challenged to continue their effectiveness as trio with a mixture of energy. It’s earned notice already. 

“Those guys were some of our most reliable players not only (Thursday), but over the past couple of nights,” said Hakstol. 


It’s pretty understandable that the Kraken may not get the same looks against Dallas on Friday as they did against Anaheim, now set to face a 101-point team who is third in the NHL for first period goals, and one of the top teams in the goal differential department. 

The Kraken haven’t allowed a first period goal since the Montreal blowout on Sunday, when Philipp Grubauer allowed four goals on six shots. A clean four-line game is a good place to start, where the Kraken pit similar records: they are 19-5-1 when leading after one period, while Dallas is 19-4-1.  

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