Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken are winners of two straight after knocking off the Carolina Hurricanes, the team tied for second in the NHL for total points. Seattle would beat Carolina 2-1 just three days after knocking off the Washington Capitals, who are the team that the Hurricanes are tied with.
The first period would play out like a broken record of Seattle’s season so far, as Carolina would score first. Defenseman Brendan Smith would score from just inside the Kraken blue line, as his teammate Jordan Staal would screen Philipp Grubauer. Seattle had been dominating shots wise leading up to the Hurricanes goal, but Carolina would ultimately strike first.
Seattle would tie the game up with 15:44 to go in the second period on a power-play, on a slapshot by Jared McCann. That would be the fifth power-play goal in as many games, a streak that is tied with Colorado for the longest active streak in the league. That turnaround on the power-play is huge, considering that Seattle was dead last for a good amount of the season to this point. Seattle is now 21st in the league in both power-play goals and power-play percentage.
From there, the game would be a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, trading shots on goal. Philipp Grubauer and Carolina goaltender Frederik Andersen would make great save after great save as we headed deep into the third period. Marcus Johansson would
break the tie, bringing the puck around the back of the Carolina net and firing off a rocket. The shot would slip between Andersen’s shoulder and the post of the goal, giving Seattle the 2-1 advantage with 3:09 left to play in the final period. Seattle would play great defense to hold Carolina out of the net, and top another great team as the final buzzer sounded.
These past two games are what fans around the NHL and in Seattle were expecting the best-case scenario to be for this team. Not a lot of scoring, but defense and goaltending that would keep them in games. Although, I doubt many people would have expected the team to beat two teams ranked at the very top of the league in back-to-back games. The recipe of stellar defense and goalkeeping in addition to the good power-play shifts, are what this team needs to replicate if they want to keep this sort of play up and potentially secure a playoff spot down the road. Head coach Dave Hakstol, Philipp Grubauer, and Jared McCann all spoke about the way the defense and Grubauer have played as of late.
“Grubi played amazing for us in the pipes, we were able to build some confidence off of him… We need to realize that playing defense first is our strong suit, and that will create offense for us,” Jared McCann remarked when asked about the teams play.
Dave Hakstol talked about Grubauer’s play over these past two games, saying “He looks very calm and settled… he had a lot of traffic around him tonight, he had good help from the guys around him.”
And the goaltender himself had this to say about the team’s defensive play as of late, “Everybody’s growing into their roles, and I think everything is starting to come together.”
The next game for the Kraken comes on Friday, November 26th against the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road with a puck drop of 4PM PST.