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Kraken hand Panthers first home loss of the season

Seattle finishes their tough 5-team gauntlet with 3 wins and 2 losses

Seattle Kraken v Florida Panthers Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

From the depths of the Pacific (division) the Kraken have finally risen.

It’s been a strenuous start to the season to say the least, but the way Seattle has performed in these last four games against four very tough opponents is enough to wipe that from this author’s memory.

After beating the top two teams from the Metropolitan division, Seattle went for a quick weekend trip to Florida (as one does) and while they came up short on Friday in Tampa, they managed a great team win in Sunshine on Saturday. Let’s see how they did it.

shot attempt locations for the kraken at panthers on november 27, 2021

Seattle opens the scoring

For just the 7th time this season, the Kraken opened the scoring in a game. Playing form behind has been a problem all year for Seattle, but Saturday was a rare case of a game in which they never trailed. It was, of course, none other than the red-hot Jordan Eberle getting on the board once again. But while the finish was great from Eberle, we have to give credit to Joonas Donskoi on this one.

The power play appears to have righted itself after the sluggish start to the year. Seattle now has 8 goals with the man advantage in their last 9 games. And while Donskoi still doesn’t have a goal in the stat sheet, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been an effective forward for this team. It would be nice to see him break the seal on that one but on the other hand WHEW what a play — if he gets an assist like this every night but never scores that’s still a net-positive for Seattle.

Chris Driedger revenge game SUCCESS

Chris Driedger was phenomenal in his return to Florida. After letting a deflection from Patrick Hornqvist get by him early to tie the game early in the first, he became a brick wall. Driedger played 53 minutes of shutout hockey after that and finished with 33 saves on 34 shots.

Seattle Kraken v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Driedger left little doubt that the feeling of beating his former team is as good as we might expect. He looked like every bit of the goaltender we hoped he would be when he was selected in the expansion draft to be the 1A starter.

The Big Rig got rolling

Jamie Oleksiak got his first of the year twice tonight, in a way. Halfway through the first he launched a bomb from the point that got through Spencer Knight to give the Kraken a 2-1 lead. Upon further review, however, it was Ryan Donato with the deflection (Seattle’s first deflection goal of the year) for this eventual game-winner.

The hockey gods smiled on him later on though, giving Oleksiak a chance to actually get his first of the year in the waning minutes of the third period. From a franchise-record 186 feet away, Penny’s brother took an easy wrister that found the center of the net and cemented this big win over a top-tier Panthers team.

This looks like a different Kraken team than we saw earlier in the year. This team can compete with the top-end of the league and get some wins on the back of strong defense and goaltending. Let’s keep this rolling into Monday when the Kraken head to Buffalo for an early season rematch.