Seattle, WA – On a night where the organization celebrated Black Hockey History, the Seattle Kraken pulled out a tight, gritty victory against the Detroit Red Wings. With the teams’ fathers/mentors in attendance, the Kraken made the most of their opportunities in a closely contested matchup with a Red Wings team that had won their last five games coming into the February 18th battle. Kraken alternate captain Jordan Eberle scored two goals through two periods and Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer put out another excellent performance in the win. Every point matters for the Kraken, amidst a race in the Pacific Division where the margin for error is razor thin.
Kraken alternate captain Jordan Eberle has been on a tear as of late, totaling seven points in last four games including tonight’s three-point effort. Eberle began the games scoring, a goal that went five hole on Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso. With speed out of his defensive zone, Eberle nearly took the puck coast to coast before firing a shot away from the slot. Despite having three Detroit skaters surrounding him, Eberle’s shot barely caught Husso before he could get into his butterfly, clipping his inside leg leaking through for the goal.
Eberle’s second goal of the night was beautifully set up by linemate Matty Beniers following a Detroit turnover in the neutral zone. Beniers entered the Red Wings zone with Detroit forward Dylan Larkin on his hip, drawing the attention of another skater in the process. Beniers’ effort gave Eberle just enough time and space to receive the pass and fire away at a tiny window between Husso’s shoulder and the pipes, scoring for the second time in the game. With little opportunity being given by a hot Detroit team, Eberle and the Kraken took advantage of what was given. Eberle discussed his team’s ability to strike at the right time, postgame.
“We responded, anytime you get scored on late in the period it can be tough and a little deflating. We got one early in the second, the one at the end of the second was big, and then early in the third. Timely goals are always key to put teams away, especially when you’re up two going into the third… you wanna try and stay on your toes to get that next one to put the game out of reach,” Eberle said.
Since the calendar year began, Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer has been excellent between the pipes. Since his first start of the year Grubauer has a save percentage of .926, and that success continued tonight against a Red Wings team that had scored at least four goals in their last four games. Despite a heavy Red Wings attack with numerous near miss opportunities, Grubauer remained locked in and ready for the next shot throughout the entirety of the game. Grubauer, with the help of a teammates block here and there, was able to stay active in the crease and make the necessary freezes and stops to help his team get the winning edge. Grubauer discussed how his team has played in front of him, postgame.
“It’s been incredible, I think that it started a couple of games ago. We’re doing the right things and it looks more like playoff hockey. We’re making the right decision in the moment for the team, and we’re not making any selfish plays. We just get the job done, and we’ve got to continue that. There’s not much hockey left, our division is pretty tight, so we need every point,” Grubauer reflected.
The Kraken will head down to California for a quick one game road trip before returning home for two major matchups to end the month of February. On Monday, February 20th, the Kraken head to San Jose for a Presidents Day battle with the Sharks. Puck drop for the divisional battle of the aquatic teams is at 1PM PST, as the Kraken will look to collect their third win in a row against a Sharks team that has lost their last three.