Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken defeated the Ottawa Senators by a score of four to two. Three of Seattle’s four goals came from players that were not on the roster prior to the NHL trade deadline on March 21st. Outside of a two-minute burst that saw the Senators score two goals, the Senators failed to challenge Seattle netminder Chris Driedger. Interestingly enough, Driedger is the only player on the Kraken roster to have played for Ottawa.
As mentioned previously, the Kraken had some post-NHL trade deadline additions play a big role in their victory. Victor Rask, acquired by trade from the Minnesota Wild, was the first star of the night with a goal and assist. Daniel Sprong scored on a power play in the first period to start the scoring. Matty Beniers, Seattle’s No. 2 overall pick in the past draft, scored his second ever goal, recording his third point in as many games played. The team shipped out six of their players at the trade deadline, and got two in return, those two being Rask and Sprong. Those two players would speak on how they have fit in since being acquired, in the post-game press conference.
“Obviously, it’s nice to get to know everyone. I try to keep my confidence up all the time, I know what I can do on the ice, just trying to be confident out there. I felt like I had a lot of puck touches throughout game, and the more you touch the puck, the more confident you’ll be,” Rask reflected on not only his game tonight, but also fitting in since joining Seattle.
“I think I felt really good off of the bat, I think that it was nice to start on the road there, connect with the guys, and play on that long road trip. When you get traded, there’s a lot that goes through your head, especially when you go cross country. I think I’ve been fitting in pretty well, getting good opportunities, good scoring chances. They haven’t been going in for a bit, but tonight I found the back of the net,” Sprong would state regarding his fit with the Kraken.
An area to address in this game was Seattle’s early second period. After a first period that saw Seattle dominate the offensive attack and harass Ottawa goaltender Anton Forsberg, the Senators scored two goals in a span of two minutes and four seconds. Seattle played well defensively and was able to dominate the physical aspect of the game, in exception to that early second frame stretch. The first goal was a sloppy play off of a rebounded shot. Kraken netminder Chris Driedger made the initial save, but Senators forward Brady Tkachuk was able to poke the puck just enough under Driedger’s pads to squirm in for a goal. The following goal by Ottawa came off of a Nick Holden slapshot, as he was left wide open in the right face-off zone. Some traffic in front of net made the shot more difficult for Driedger, and just like that the Senators had the lead. Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol discussed that stretch, post-game.
“We gave them two easy plays; I’m just being honest. We gave them two pucks: a puck in the neutral zone, in the back of our net, and we gave them another puck on a breakout that got out of the zone, it turned around and came right back in the zone cause we didn’t take care of it and make a good play with it on the breakout, and it’s in the back of our net in fifteen seconds. That’s what happened to give them the momentum,” Hakstol stated as he reflected on the period.
With the win, Seattle moves to a 25-44-6 record in their inaugural season. The next contest for the Kraken comes on Wednesday, April 20th against the Colorado Avalanche on NHL green night. The Avalanche boast the most wins (55) in the National Hockey League to this point, and are loaded with talent. The contest will be a 7PM PST puck drop.