Seattle, WA – In their third matchup of the season and first since way back in November, the Seattle Kraken began a pivotal four game homestand with a sound 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Several of Seattle’s stars who are setting career highs in goal and point scoring contributed to this victory, like Jamie Oleksiak who began the night with a goal a little under four minutes into the opening frame. Despite winning this battle in a fashion where the game was never in doubt, the Kraken had some issues with the Ducks on a few hits throughout the course of the third period including one that saw star defenseman Vince Dunn exit the game due to a decision from off-ice officials. Seattle secured two key points as they march towards the end of their second season, but they didn’t do so without a few extra bruises.
Kraken forward Jared McCann continues to etch his name into Seattle’s history books and hearts, as the first player in franchise history to sign an extension and record 30 goals in a season for the team notched a goal and assist in this win over Anaheim. Those two points on the night pushed his season total to 100, another “first ever” accomplishment for the Stratford, Canada native that continues to produce at a torrid pace for a team that seems playoff bound. With the calm, steady McCann having tallied a point in eleven of his last 13 appearances, the Kraken have gotten consistent offensive production and an elite shot out of a forward that was looked over just like many of his current Seattle teammates.
“Not so much, I’ve been very lucky to play with two great linemates in Ebs and Matty, obviously Matty is a special player. Ebs has been dishing it to me a lot since I’ve been here, so I’ve just been trying to capitalize on those,” Jared McCann said when asked if he’s seen anything different this year compared to last when it comes to his goal scoring.
Heading into a third period where Seattle held a two-goal lead against an inferior opponent, it felt like the Kraken were going to be able to add a few more goals and secure the two points without too much resistance. Anaheim had other plans for those final two minutes, showing the “physical” side of their game with a few high hits to Kraken players Jordan Eberle, Adam Larsson, and Vince Dunn. The most notable perhaps was the last player listed in Vince Dunn, as he had to leave the game due to the hit laid on him. For context Jordan Eberle and Adam Larsson had both taken hits to the upper body and above area without a call, with Larsson notably holding the back of his head after getting off the ice and slamming the bench door after his shift had ended.
With under eight minutes to play in the final frame and the game all but decided, Dunn was hit high by Ducks forward Max Comtois after the puck was out of Dunn’s reach. Dunn was left bloodied and called for a hit to the head but was ignored. Once on the bench, Dunn proceeded to yell at the officials about his anger at the no call and slammed his stick on the ice, which resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Not even a minute into serving that penalty, the on-ice officials were instructed by off-ice officials to send Dunn off the ice for concussion protocol, ending his night.
“He was pissed off, and I get why. It was a little bit late; he held his cool getting off of the ice and he snapped on the bench. His teammates had his back, got the job done, and that’s it, we’ll move on. He’s been a heck of a competitor for us all year long, he’s head great presence of mind, that’s one situation where his teammates had his back and got him through it… I don’t have an update, I don’t have any reason for any concern right now,” Dave Hakstol said when asked about the hit that Vince Dunn received and if he had an update on his condition.
Seattle will have a day of practice in between games, as their next game comes on Thursday, March 9th with a puck drop of 7PM PST against the Ottawa Senators. The Kraken will host an Ottawa team that sits at fifth in their division and may be looking to get some revenge on Seattle for their January contest when the Senators lost 8-4. Ottawa, having acquired highly coveted defenseman Jacob Chychrun via trade, is in a similar situation to Seattle where every point is critical through these final weeks of the regular season.