After three straight losses, the Seattle Kraken took their show on the road to California to face the San Jose Sharks for the first time. Seattle held a 9–15–3 record, which had them ahead of only half a dozen teams. #RevengeEffects were on display, again, as they have been all season.
In goal for Dave Hakstol was Chris Driedger, who has had a rough time keeping healthy, despite boasting the better numbers of the two Kraken netminders. His return from the injured reserve list would prove to be pivotal for the visitors.
The fact that both the Sharks and Kraken had a hard time scoring in this contest should come as no surprise. Both teams are in the bottom half of the league in scoring, and San Jose has gotten some quality results in net from the unlikely duo of James Reimer and Adin Hill. Head Coach Bob Boughner’s goaltender of the day was Reimer against the Kraken.
The division rivals battled evenly for the first and second periods, but neither could break the ice and score the opening goal of the game. Seattle led the first period in shots 11–8, while the Sharks took the second period tally 12–7.
Unfortunately for anyone not watching on the west coast, almost all of the action was in the third period when the east coast clocks were already reading “Wednesday morning.”
The former Shark line of Ryan Donato, Joonas Donskoi and Alexander True opened the scoring 6:23 into the third period. Donskoi threw a shot toward Donato, who was right at Reimer’s doorstep waiting for a rebound or deflection. Donato tried to pull the puck to his forehand after failing to tip Donskoi’s shot past the goaltender, and the puck went off defenseman Radim Simek’s skate and into the net.
The 1–0 lead was increased to 2–0 when Brandon Tanev took a Morgan Geekie pass on a rare 2-on-3 rush and beat Reimer. This would prove to be the game-winning goal, with Calle Jarnkrok adding an empty-net insurance goal in the final seconds of the game.
San Jose broke the Driedger shutout with Reimer on the bench for the extra attacker with 2:07 to play, but that was all the Sharks could muster. The Kraken left San Jose with their 10th win of the season, but gained little ground in the standings.
⚓ Chris Driedger, folks. If he could stay off injured reserve and on the ice, he might be making Philipp Grubauer sweat a little. Driedger deserved a shutout, period. He earned the first star of the game and saved 31 of 32 shots.
⚓ In a pretty strange game, there was only one penalty the entire night, which was Vince Dunn’s holding penalty at 14:59 of the second period.
⚓ “Turbo” Tanev’s ninth goal of the season is his third-most in his least amount of games (28). He had gone scoreless in his previous five games before his huge goal in this game. What is not to love about this guy?
⚓ You would not know it by the box score but Donato, Donskoi, Geekie, Jarnkrok, Tanev and True were all crushed in scoring chance percentage, ranging from 33% to 28%. That is two entire forward lines that were caved in, which just goes to show how well Driedger played.
🔱 5-on-5 Corsi (total shot attempts) 52%–48%
🔱 5-on-5 Fenwick (Unblocked shot attempts) 51%–49%
🔱 5-on-5 High-danger chances for 56%–44%
🔱 5-on-5 Expected goals for 52%–48%
🔱 Face-off percentage 51%–49%
⚓ The Kraken are right back in action tonight against the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. PST.