The Kraken hosted the Bruins on Thursday night in an attempt to avenge their 3-2 loss in Boston at the beginning of February. Seattle came into this one bearing two consecutive 5-2 losses in which they were outshot a combined 82-52, so they were very much in need of a spark somewhere in this one to get their legs back. The lack of Jared McCann, who was surprisingly added to injured reserve earlier in the day, would not make that mission easy.
We talk a lot about the Kraken’s tendency towards absolute chaos and their refusal to play anything resembling a normal hockey game, but the first period of this one found some new level of mayhem pretty much immediately.
Mark Giordano took a tripping penalty only 20 seconds after the puck dropped, which was really the opposite way a team on a losing streak wants to start a game, but don’t worry — it got worse. Adam Larsson got his stick up on Taylor Hall during the penalty kill and drew blood, sending him to the box for 4 minutes and giving the Bruins 38 seconds of 5-on-3 time. Seattle managed to kill off the short 5-on-3, but they were still left facing over 3 minutes of penalty kill time. Fortunately Seattle has the guy with the 7th-most shorthanded goals by a defenseman in league history.
Gio took advantage of a pretty lazy line change by Brad Marchand and was able to jump into the zone unchallenged. That’s two shorthanded goals in two games for Giordano now. Seattle took a 1-0 lead less than 4 minutes in despite spending nearly the entirety of the game to that point on the penalty kill.
The Kraken finally managed to get back to even strength for a few minutes, but it didn’t last long. Ale Wennberg took a pretty bizarre high-sticking penalty trying to enter the zone, taking Charlie McAvoy’s helmet completely off in the process.
Wennberg with the high stick on McAvoy pic.twitter.com/ztbipaxBIK— Alison (@AlisonL) February 25, 2022
McAvoy went down immediately and would miss a couple shifts, but he was back before the period ended. This was about 6 inches away from being something much more serious, but thankfully the stick caught mostly helmet.
No goals were scored during this penalty, or on Seattle’s first power play shortly thereafter (on yet another high-sticking penalty, this time by Charlie McAvoy), or even on the penalty after that (Larsson, interference). That last Bruins power play had some dangerous chances, but Grubauer came up huge more than once.
There was one puck Gru couldn’t stop in the first though, and it was in part due to the former Bruin Jeremy Lauzon. Lauzon tried to bat a flying puck away from the crease, but instead ended up knocking it right onto his own goal line. Jake DeBrusk gave it a little tap tap taparoo to send it home and tie this one up.
All in all, the first period featured:
- 12 penalty minutes
- 8 penalty minutes just for high-sticking
- 1 helmet knocked off with a stick
- 25 total shots on goal
- 1 shorthanded goal
- 1 goal off a failed baseball swing
40 minutes to go.
I kid you not, this period started with yet another high-sticking penalty. This time Tomáš Nosek caught Austin Czarnik trying to defend a zone entry. Seattle would’ve been better off declining this power play, if that were an option allowed in hockey. The Bruins outshot Seattle 3-1 while Seattle was on this power play.
The Bruins carried the play for a good chunk of this period, and it paid off when David Pastrnak scored on a blast from the left circle, avenging the earlier glove save by Grubauer.
That one seemed to wake the Kraken up, and the chances started coming for both sides in the middle few minutes. Seattle forced a turnover in the neutral zone while Boston was caught on a line change, and it sent Jordan Eberle with Marcus Johansson and Giordano on a 3-on-1 chance. Rather than try to make the perfect pass, Eberle opted to gift us with a pretty move and an even prettier backhand finish to tie this one at 2.
That’s Eberle’s third goal in February, which isn’t much to write home about but feels phenomenal after he got skunked in December and January. Those three goals have all come in the past two weeks.
All in all, this was a slightly less frenetic period than the first. The teams traded even strength goals, and Nosek took a second high-sticking penalty to bring the total high-sticking penalties to 5 through 40 minutes of play — the most such penalties in a single game this season.
Things calmed down a bit in the third period. Nobody hit someone else in the face with a stick for an entire 20 minutes! But more importantly, the Kraken kept up with the Bruins shot for shot for the entire period. Natural Stat Trick even gave Seattle the edge in expected goals in this frame, after trailing in that stat in each of the first two. But if you absolutely must have some sort of oddity here, know that Boston fans were blessed with John Forslund and JT Brown’s commentary for much of the third after a fire alarm went off at the NESN studios.
A fire alarm went off in the NESN Studios, so we're getting the Seattle broadcast.— Stanley Cup of Chowder (@cupofchowdah) February 25, 2022
Because why not
The Kraken had a few good opportunities near the end of the period, with Mason Appleton and Riley Sheahan both almost notching a game winner, but a game like this demanded overtime.
Jake DeBrusk scored in 33 seconds.
With the open space at 3-on-3, the best you can ask of your defense is to keep shots to the outside, and the Kraken did manage that. But DeBrusk put a heck of a shot short side on Grubauer from a sharp angle to the left of the net to put this one away. That’s a tough way to lose, especially for Grubauer, who played exceptionally well for much of this game.
Seattle drops their sixth straight game, but does at least steal a point by taking it to overtime. They’ll be back in action on Sunday in San Jose when they take on the Sharks.