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Kraken lose to Ducks in overtime in season opener

Kraken hockey is back in both the ways you want and the ways you really didn’t want

Seattle Kraken v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

Our long local nightmare is over, regular season hockey is BACK. And the Seattle Kraken kicked off their sophomore season in extremely Kraken fashion. It was a 5-4 loss in overtime, and a game the Kraken probably should have won. They outshot the Ducks in every single period, resulting in a final 48-17 advantage. Even with a 4-2 lead, they kept their foot on the gas. But a late surge from the Ducks, in front of their home crowd, proved too much for Seattle.

There was still quite a bit of Good to take away from this contest despite its outcome. Here’s the facts of the game for game one against the Ducks:

The new guys announced themselves

Both of the Kraken’s premier offseason forward acquisitions got off on the right foot. André Burakovsky and Oliver Bjorkstrand netted their first goals in a Kraken uniform less than halfway through their first regular season game. Burakovsky got on the board first with an absolutely perfect snipe to the top corner to get the Kraken their first lead of the game.

Burakovksy followed suit a few minutes later in eerily similar fashion. He hits essentially the same spot of the net with a wrist shot of his own.

And let’s not forget about the blue line addition of Justin Schultz. He earned the primary assist on that Bjorkstrand goal and had himself another assist earlier in the game and became the first Kraken player with a multi-point night this season.

All three of these guys will be back next year, and Bjorky and Burky are under contract for four and five more years, respectively. File that under “Things You Love To See.”

Workhorse Matty B

Matty Beniers played a career-high 19:55 in this game, including a 2:27 power play shift in the first period. The fact that he’s only 19 years old and the fact that he’s only played in 10 regular season games to this point in his short career do not seem to be playing a factor in his usage, and for good reason. The kid — who began his career with a point in 9 of his first 10 games — notched a goal and an assist in this one. He’s the real deal folks. The X-Factor, that dawg in him, whatever you want to refer to it as, he’s got it.

A very powerful power play

Reports of the Kraken power play’s death have been greatly exaggerated. The Kraken converted three of their four power play opportunities into goals. The first came in the first period from Jared McCann, wearing his newly minted number 19 sweater.

Last year, Seattle had the third-worst 5-on-4 power play by goals scored per 60 minutes and the 10th worst by expected goals per 60 minutes, per Natural Stat Trick. The results through one game, thanks in large part to the new faces and Matty B, have been staggeringly different. Their three goals in 7 minutes came on prime scoring chances, and they ended up with 9.0 expected goals per 60 minutes on the power play on night one — the Oilers led in that category last year with 9.1 xGF/60.

One big difference? There’s more shooters available out there. Last year it was basically McCann and Jordan Eberle. This year those guys are still there, but there’s also Bjorkstand, Burakovksy, and Beniers out there itching to throw the puck at the net. The talent is there now, and it shows.

The flotsam and jetsam

  • Shane Wright played 6:14 in his NHL debut. Safe to say that head coach Dave Hakstol will be giving him some sheltered minutes early in his career.
  • The Ducks scored on their very first shot of the game, less than a minute into the first period. Boy oh boy Kraken hockey is really BACK folks.
  • Will Borgen got in a fight and did quite well. He also got perhaps a bit too aggressive on the penalty kill right before the Ducks’ second goal.

The Kraken won’t have much time to dwell on this one, as they’re back in action on Thursday at 7:30 against the Kings in Los Angeles.