RECAP: Ducks out-pace Kraken for sixth straight win


The Seattle Kraken welcomed the Anaheim Ducks to town Thursday to begin a six-game homestand. Anaheim was riding a five-game win streak and Ducks forward Troy Terry was riding a 12-game point streak. The Kraken, on the other hand, were nursing the wounds of a two-game losing streak. To say that Seattle was facing the Ducks at the wrong time might be a bit of an understatement

Anaheim wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as 18-year-old rookie Mason MacTavish continued his great play five minutes into regulation play with his second goal of the season. This was a lead that the Ducks never lost. MacTavish’s goal was the only one of the first period, but Anaheim poured the pressure on all period. Shots on goal wound up 16–4 in favor of Anaheim, which tells you all you should need to know about momentum.

The flood gates opened in the second period as far as goal scoring and physicality went. Seattle got a goal by Jaden Schwartz sandwiched between Anaheim goals from Terry and Josh Mahura before defensemen Josh Manson and Jeremy Lauzon took to fisticuffs. Lauzon had taken a double minor against Ducks forward Max Comtois, which meant he was probably going to have to answer the bell shortly after.

Jared McCann cut the Ducks’ lead to 3–2 for about 10 minutes, but veteran defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored his fourth goal of the season late in the period to take the teams into the intermission as Anaheim held a 4–2 lead. The shot totals were slightly more balanced than the first period with the Ducks still holding a lead 11–7 and an overall lead of 27–11.

The third period was as wide open as the second, with just a bit less physicality. Jordan Eberle continued his hot play with a goal four minutes into the third period, which temporarily cut Anaheim’s lead to one goal at 4–3.

The two Pacific Division rivals then traded goals from Hampus Lindholm and McCann’s second of the night, just a minute apart. This led to a 5–4 game with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation, which led to Head Coach Dave Hakstol pulling the goalie with under three minutes remaining.

Empty net goals by Sam Carrick and Terry made the score look much more lopsided than it actually was, but the Ducks walked away with their sixth win in a row nonetheless. For Terry, it was his 13th straight game with a point, and for Seattle, it was their third straight loss.

Anchor points

⚓ The two empty-net goals were not on Philipp Grubauer, but he still was not up to the level that the Kraken need him to be at. He stopped 29 of 34 shots, but this is not going to keep Seattle afloat. They are going to need his save percentage above .900 (preferably .910) if they are going to compete in the Pacific. Mahura let his goal go from the blue line and Grubauer swatted at it like it was a bunch of flies. Shattenkirk’s goal was nothing special and also outside the face-off dot. Lindholm’s goal was also from the blue line. He did make some nice stops sliding across his crease, but he needs to stop more of the simple long ones.

⚓ It is not fair to harp on the power play too much in this game. There were only two power plays combined. That said, if Seattle was able to convert, this game was tied heading into the final minutes.

⚓ With the shot disparity, Anaheim led in analytics across the board (58% Corsi, 58% Fenwick, 58% high-danger chances for and 60% expected goals for). Hakstol tinkered with the lines, but just about any line with Alexander Wennberg centering was pretty good analytically. Morgan Geekie and Yanni Gourde had rough nights with anyone they played between.

The Kraken will have today off and host the Minnesota Wild Saturday night. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. PST.