Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken fell to the playoff bound Los Angeles Kings, 5-3, on April 27th at Climate Pledge Arena. A five goal second period saw the teams tied at three heading into the third period, with the Kings able to close the door late. Considering that their playoff spot was locked up prior to this matchup, Los Angeles rested several starters. This included Anze Kopitar, who saw his 281 consecutive games played streak end. Kopitar’s was the fifth-longest active streak in the NHL.
A wild second period was the defining frame in this contest. After the opening 20-minutes only saw one goal, scored by Jared McCann with about a minute left, the offense exploded. The Kraken opened up the second frame with a Ryan Donato goal, dangling around Kings netminder Jonathan Quick. While Seattle scored first and dominated the games total shots, Los Angeles went the quality over quantity route. The Kings scored goals from Gabriel Vilardi and Trevor Moore in a time span of a little under four minutes. While Jordan Eberle was able to answer the Kings with his own goal 14:29 into the second period, Trevor Moore answered back two minutes and 41 seconds later. It was the same old story for Seattle from their past three games, a collapse in the second period thanks to sloppy puck play and poor defense. Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol would speak on his team’s flaws.
“We were poor defensively, point blank. Through the first period, you could see indications of it. There were outnumbered rushes that got to our blue line that we were able to kill and catch by that point in time, second period that started to catch up to us. Once you look at really each of the goals, we allowed the puck to the inside. In order for that to get there, our coverage down low…… was soft,” Hakstol remarked.
Seattle had one final golden opportunity with a five on three situation. With a little under nine minutes left, Kings Gabriel Vilardi was given a double minor for high sticking on Jared McCann. Around the six-minute left mark, Los Angeles’ Philipp Danault was given a minor for hooking on Ryan Donato. The Kraken had an opportunity served to them on a platter, and while they did put shots on Kings netminder Jonathan Quick, Seattle had nothing to show for that opportunity. With that failed power play, the Kraken have only converted one of thirteen power plays in their past two games. In the four-game losing streak that they’re currently in, Seattle is two for sixteen. Alternate captain Jordan Eberle reflected on the teams struggles on special teams.
“He (Jonathan Quick) was good, he made some solid saves. We had a couple good looks, wasn’t as good as it should have been. You get a five on three there to try and tie the game up, you gotta score to give your team a chance. Definitely a frustrating one,” Eberle stated.
Seattle has looked better as a team down the stretch of the second half of this season, but this four-game stretch has been disappointing. While there have been good moments, the second period collapses and abysmal power play are reminiscent of the Kraken in the first half of the season. Let’s hope, for the fans sake and for monument carried into next seasons sake, that the Kraken can finish the season on a high note.
The Kraken get a rebound opportunity this Friday, April 29th against the San Jose Sharks. It’s the final home game of their inaugural season, and the second to last game as a whole. San Jose, who will also miss the playoffs, are led by young forward Timo Meier. Puck drop is at 7PM PST inside of Climate Pledge Arena.