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Kraken lose extremely frustrating game to large group of Florida men 5-1

Winning streak snapped, and on reverse retro night no less

Florida Panthers v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

I will not spend the recap defaming the officiating, I will not spend the recap defaming the officiating, I will not—

The Florida Panthers spent the entirety of Saturday night’s game at less than even strength thanks to some cap conundrums caused by injuries to Aleksander Barkov and Anton Lundell that aren’t quite enough to send them to LTIR. Fortunately for the cats, the officials sent the Kraken to the box several times to put the squids legitimately* man-down.

*legitimacy of these penalties vary, exclusions may apply

The Panthers’ opening two goals came on some big juicy rebounds left alone after great saves by Philipp Grubauer. There were definite shades of 2021 Kraken defending on those early goals — at times when Seattle needed to either a) clear the puck out from in front of the net, or b) clear the opponent out of the front of the net, they opted for c) neither. It didn’t help that the second goal came on a power play after a failed goaltender interference challenge, when Marc Staal undeniably ran through Philipp Grubauer, but wasn’t near enough to the crease to warrant the referee waiving it off. Welcome to who’s goaltender interference anyway, where everything is made up and the reviews really matter.

Anyway, the Kraken came back firing in the second period, and we were gifted with Jared McCann’s fourth goal in five games after a real hard-nosed forechecking effort from the entire McCann/Eberle/Beniers line.

The momentum from this goal wasn’t enough to keep them within one, however, as a dubious call against Vince Dunn sent the Panthers to another power play, where they scored another power play goal. Aside from that, the second period was all Seattle — they outshot Florida 14-2, and out-chanced them to the tune of 1.6 expected goals to 0.5 expected goals, per Natural Stat Trick. Spencer Knight just played really, really well.

The third period featured yet another power play goal for the Panthers — their third of the night, and the ninth power play goal allowed by Seattle in their last four games. The 7-game win streak has overshadowed a very serious special teams issue with the team of late, and that’s something that’s sure to be a focus for head coach Dave Hakstol in practice this week.

Game Notes

  • Your time-on-ice leader for Seattle was none other than Jamie Oleksiak, with over 23 minutes skated tonight.
  • Jared McCann scored his 11th of the season, extending his lead as the Kraken’s all-time leading goal scorer and putting him on an 82-game pace of 40+ goals this season. He is thriving alongside Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle right now.
  • Yes, the officiating was bad and frustrating. But even so, this team has got to find a way to kill a penalty once in a while. Letting Florida go 3 for 4 on the man-advantage is a very difficult way to win hockey games, regardless of how the penalties come.
  • The franchise-long 7-game win streak has come to an end.
  • The Kraken outshot the Panthers 37-28 and controlled 56% of the expected goals at 5-on-5.
  • Seemingly all of the Panthers shots came from the Kenny Loggins High Danger Zone. Philipp Grubauer had to make more than a handful of excellent saves, but still let in 5 in the end.
shot chart for florida panthers vs seattle kraken on 12-3-2022

Our squids are back in action on Tuesday when they host the Montreal Canadiens, which should be a great opportunity to restart this win streak.