Saturday night, the Seattle Kraken beat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3 in a thrilling game! Jordan Eberle, Jared McCann, and Daniel Sprong each scored one goal and got an assist during the match. Eeli Tolvanen, Yanni Gourde, Adam Larsson, and Morgan Geekie also added goals to help their team win in this exciting battle. Jamie Oleksiak was especially helpful with three assists that contributed greatly to the victory. The Kraken won their fourth straight game since Thursday when they qualified for their very first Stanley Cup playoff!
Martin Jones made 15 saves in the first two rounds, then Philipp Grubauer replaced him and managed to make 11 saves in the third round. Seth Jones scored twice for Chicago and Lukas Reichel also got one goal. Petr Mrazek stopped 24 shots. Even though they tried hard, it was their 10th loss out of 11 games and they are tied with Columbus who have the least points in the NHL with 56.
Tolvanen put Seattle ahead 4:48 into the game with his 18th goal. The Blackhawks quickly responded 57 seconds later with a goal from Jones in the slot. Eberle then scored his 20th, and Gourde his 13th giving Seattle a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period. This made Eberle, the fifth player on the Kraken team to score at least 20 goals this season!
Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said that he is proud of the team because they have been getting contributions from different players all year long. This is a great skill to have going into the playoffs. However, with a postseason spot already secure, he added that some “sloppy” play was bound to happen on Saturday.
He said that even though they won the game, some of their energy came with them during this match tonight. This made the game look and feel sloppy. Even though there weren’t a lot of dangerous moments, everyone knew it wasn’t handled very well on our side and we really have to make sure it gets better.
Even though the Blackhawks were losing 5-3, they kept trying throughout most of the third period. Then, McCann got his 39th goal and Geekie scored his 9th one only three minutes apart, which was enough to guarantee a victory for their team.
Coach Luke Richardson said that in the first 12 minutes of the third period, their team was doing really well and putting pressure on the opponents. But one minute before their opponents scored their sixth goal, they started making mistakes by turning over pucks and going off track from their game plan. This made it easier for their opponents to score two more goals since they were very fast.
With three and a half minutes left in the second period, Jujhar Khaira almost scored for the Blackhawks. But it was cancelled due to an offside call from Seattle. The Kraken have 98 points and are only two behind the Los Angeles Kings – who have two games left – in the Pacific Division. On Saturday, Seattle was able to fend off two of its three short-handed situations that have been going on since Feb 14th, putting them up to 61 successes out of 69 attempts. The next game is Monday night between the Blackhawks and Wild teams.
The Kraken is going to play against the Coyotes on Monday night. To get more information about the game, check out https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://www.twitter.com/AP_Sports!