Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken fell to the Las Vegas Golden Knights for the second game in a row, this time losing two to five. The Golden Knights were able to capitalize off of Seattle’s characteristic defensive mistakes for the first three goals, adding two empty netters late. With Las Vegas’ win, the Golden Knights completed the four-game season series sweep over the Kraken.
The Kraken were their same old selves in the first few periods, giving up goals off of defensive miscues that continue to happen late in the season. Jamie Oleksiak falling down and losing the puck in the Seattle defensive zone, getting caught in a shift change, and letting a puck squirm under Philipp Grubauer’s pad accounted for Vegas’ non-empty net goals. This poor defensive showing came after a quote from head coach Dave Hakstol, stating that he wanted leadership in the goalkeeper position. This seemed like an obvious dig at Chris Driedger, who started in the March 30th loss to Las Vegas. Here is what Hakstol said the morning of the April 1st loss to the Golden Knights.
“Grubi’s game has been consistent, Driedg’s played well. We’re looking at creating as much of a competitive situation as possible. Driedg’s has played well the last couple games, had our team come away with a win, there would’ve been strong consideration for him to go three in a row… we’re gonna need leadership in that position, and Grubi will be the man that gets the opportunity to do that for his teammates,” Hakstol stated when asked about his decision to put
Grubauer in net following back-to-back solid starts from Chris Driedger.
One of the few positives notes that came from this game was Kole Lind scoring his first ever NHL goal. After eleven years trying to reach the professional level, and not scoring in his rookie year, Lind notched his first career goal with 1:38 left to play in the final period. Lind fired a one-timer from the faceoff circle with traffic in front of Logan Thompson, and the puck found the top corner of the net. Lind reflected on his journey to this moment, and how the moment felt to him.
“Obviously, it’s been a wild ride for me. From the beginning of pro hockey, I struggled and getting drafted here was a big opportunity here. To finally get one is a big sigh of relief. The win is the most important thing, but it is a very big sigh of relief… there’s not really words to describe it. Lots of guys say that they blackout, I remember every moment. It was unreal,” Lind reflected.
The Kraken had an opportunity to throw a wrench into the Golden Knights’ playoff chase, as Las Vegas sits just one point above the Dallas Stars for the second wild card in the Western Conference. With what the players have said about wanting to establish an identity and playing for the fans, they did not necessarily show that in the last two losses. Seattle looked sloppy and overall, like the bad team that they have been all year. It is somewhat redeeming to know that Seattle pushed the Golden Knights in a few periods over the past two games, but spoiling Vegas’ playoff hopes would have been very satisfying.
Seattle will get its next opportunity to get back in the win column when the team takes on the Dallas Stars on Sunday, April 3rd. Veteran forwards Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson lead Dallas as they
pursue the aforementioned playoff spot that Las Vegas currently holds. Puck drop is at 6PM PST and the game will be broadcast on ROOT sports.