RECAP: Kraken beat Penguins 2–1 in first-ever OT win


As the all-star break quickly approaches, the Seattle Kraken hit the road for a quick road trip to the East Coast. First up on the docket was the former team of Jared McCann (and Brandon Tanev), the Pittsburgh Penguins. No doubt that McCann had #RevengeEffects on his mind. Pittsburgh came in winners of six in a row and were looking to continue rolling. Philipp Grubauer and the Kraken had other plans, though.

As has been the norm for the Kraken, they came out in the first period looking a little rusty. The Penguins threw 11 shots at Grubauer, while Seattle sent only seven shots at Tristan Jarry. Neither goaltender yielded the elusive first goal, and the teams went into the first intermission tied 0–0.

It was much of the same in the second period, as well. Seattle managed only two shots on Jarry this time, while Pittsburgh put nine shots on Grubauer. Neither period was boring, though. Each goaltender seemingly outdid the other at each end, which set up an intense third period.

The game stayed scoreless until the Penguins got a fortunate power play 7:23 into the third period after Marcus Johansson collided with Jarry and was called for goaltender interference. Just over a minute into the power play, Evgeni Malkin took a feed from Kris Letang and beat Grubauer with a cannon of a shot on one of only four shots that Pittsburgh had in the entire third period.

Seattle could have very well curled up and fallen apart, but they went the other direction, outshooting the home team 18–4 (20–4 if you count overtime) the rest of the way. With just under four minutes remaining in regulation, McCann bit his former team with a nifty redirection of a Vince Dunn point shot. As regulation time expired the teams were deadlocked at 1–1.

In overtime, the Penguins were maybe a bit too careless, letting Alexander Wennberg set up Adam Larsson for a long shot that beat Jarry and gave the Kraken the extra point.

Anchor points

⚓ Goaltending will make or break this team, and it made the Kraken in a big way this time. Grubauer was incredible from beginning to end. He was aggressive and sharp all night. No matter who scored, Grubauer was the first star for Head Coach Dave Hakstol.

⚓ It was really nice to see this team band together and fight one out. McCann has become an unsung leader, and we may be seeing the beginning of an identity for this organization. Better late than never, but, coming so late, this is just building the personality for next season.

⚓ The Wennberg-Ryan Donato-Joonas Donskoi line had the most time on ice and held a 70% 5-on-5 Corsi-for percentage. On the back end, Haydn Fleury and Jeremy Lauzon got crushed in their own end 5-on-5, getting out-chanced 12–6. I am not a fan of Lauzon and this certainly did not change my opinion.

⚓ The big third period had the overall possession analytics in favor of Seattle:

🔱 5-on-5 Corsi (total shot attempts) RECAP: Kraken beat Penguins 2–1 in first-ever OT win 51%–49%
🔱 5-on-5 Fenwick (Unblocked shot attempts) RECAP: Kraken beat Penguins 2–1 in first-ever OT win 52%–48%
🔱 5-on-5 High-danger chances for RECAP: Kraken beat Penguins 2–1 in first-ever OT win 62%–38%
🔱 5-on-5 Expected goals for RECAP: Kraken beat Penguins 2–1 in first-ever OT win 53%–47%
🔱 Face-off percentage RECAP: Kraken beat Penguins 2–1 in first-ever OT win 63%–37%

The Kraken will play matinee games in New York against the Islanders and Rangers on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, before the all-star break begins Monday. The puck drop is scheduled for 11 a.m. PST on Saturday and 10 a.m. PST on Sunday.