The Seattle Kraken beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 tonight. The Kraken, though outplayed majority of the night, were able to lean on their stud goalie Philip Grubauer, and score clutch goals at momentum shifting times. Great game! With the win the Kraken get their first back-to-back dubs of the season.
The Predators are annoying. No denying that. If you were not able to watch the game, here is what you missed.
The first period went just like I thought it would. Both teams rolled with their top goalies, and they both looked impressive. Philip Grubauer and Juusi Saros are both great netminders. Nashville made some pushes here and there, but overall played pretty sloppy, including being guilty of a few lazy penalties. Nashville struck first in this one, and many folks probably had that “oh crap, here we go” feeling, until the Kraken started shooting.
On the second Kraken power play, Oliver Bjorkstrand buried a shot for a goal. Kraken tied 1-1. A few minutes later the Kraken were able to make a great defensive play, turned into a 2 on 1, and Jared McCann was able to bury a goal to put the Kraken up 2-1. Great shot on a great play. The period ended with Seattle up in spite of being outshot by the Preds 12-9. Not a bad first period.
The second period started off all Predators and all Grubauer. It is hard to put into words the awesomeness of 4 of Grubauer’s saves. To put it very simply, Nashville had 4 really good scoring chances and Grubauer stood on his head. If not for Gru, Nashville would have taken the lead in the first 10 minutes of the second. This play is why Grubauer is the top guy in Seattle.
Equally effective on the other end was the Pred’s goalie Saros. The few scoring chances that the Kraken generated on Saros, he came up big. If you were a fan of goaltending, the second period was a highlight reel (you should watch the actual highlights). The Kraken did struggle at times with zone entry and generating quality scoring chances, but overall, both teams played a solid period of hockey.
Missing in action in this game was Matty Beniers. Dude does not look the same as he did last season. Really crazy the difference a year makes. He is so much better than how he is playing. Seattle went to the box with 5 minutes left in the period. The PK looked like crap. Roman Josi with an incredible goal, tied the game up 2-2. Really made Will Borgen pay for the holding call. The Kraken came right back and answered though, a slick wrister from Brian Dumoulin to retake the lead 3-2.
Such a nifty goal. The Kraken really turned it up after the Josi goal, just outworking the Preds. With 2:10 left in the period Grubauer was hurt, and called for tripping. Awesome. They found a way for it to get worse. Gru has been a little fragile in the past, my gut tells me a stint on IR is coming this way.
Who knows. The penalty kill was super sloppy though.. I am not sure how the team looked so panicky but they found a way to make this PK hard to watch. Grubauer and the Kraken were able to escape intense pressure from the Preds and head to the 2nd intermission up 3-2. Whew. Nothing like a little drama.
The third period started with the Kraken making a few pushes early. Grubauer was solid early in the 3rd. Both teams went back and forth with the edge going to Seattle in the first half of the 3rd. Vince Dunn scored an awesome goal off of a great offensive zone faceoff win, the Kraken led 4-2. Nashville pulled Saros with 1:30 left in the game. The Preds made a their final push, and Grubauer was excellent. The last seconds ticked down and the Kraken won 4-2.
- The Kraken won! That’s two in a row, for the first time this season. It finally feels like the team is back on track and playing like a team with Stanley Cup aspirations. It was good to see them get a win at home.
- Philip Grubauer was the best player on the ice tonight. I was so happy to see the return to form. As I mentioned, he is the #1 guy in Seattle. I hate seeing teams go back and forth with goalies. Watch for his strange penalty to have lingering effects, it’s kind of how he rolls.
- Oliver Bjorkstrand continues the hot hands. They guy looks like who ‘they thought he was’ when they acquired him. He may be the biggest steal in the league. If you are a fantasy owner, he could win you your league. Pick this man up, now.
- Jared McCann scored. He is legit. Worth every penny. Nice goal too.
- Nashville outshot the Kraken 35-30.
- The Kraken defense gave up way too many good scoring chances to the Preds. Too many guys just hanging around the house. You typically do not win many games when you play like that.
- Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle were MIA (again). Not really the best time to go slumping; Eberle in a contract year (and older now) as well as Beniers, who is looking for his first long-term deal. Eberle is setting the table for a sad goodbye this offseason. Dude, start scoring.
Seattle now have their first back-to-back wins this season and can take that monkey off of their back. Great game by Grubauer and the offense finally showed up for him. This might be the first time this season that the team played a complete game in all phases. Great job boys! Jaden Schwartz continued his solid play as well with an assist. Keep it up fellas. Up next, the Kraken take on the Calgary Flames Saturday night at 7:00 PM PDT, the last game in their short 2-game homestand.
Fear the deep!