RECAP: Kraken rack up seven goals in win over Buffalo


Hot off a big win in Florida, the Seattle Kraken continued their road trip up the East Coast to Buffalo, New York, where they faced the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres. This was one of the games that the Kraken needed to win against a struggling franchise.

After a great showing against the Florida Panthers, Head Coach Dave Hakstol gave Chris Driedger his second start in a row. Former Sabres defenseman Will Borgen played in his second Kraken game against his former team. The #RevengeEffects were in play, as Borgen assisted on Mason Appleton’s late second period goal for the former Sabre’s first career point.

On the momentum of a big third period in Florida, the Kraken came out in the first period against the Sabres and opened an early 3–0 lead. Shots were almost even, with the Kraken holding a slim 12–11 advantage. The Kraken offense came from defenseman Carson Soucy (shorthanded at 5:47), Brandon Tanev (also shorthanded at 14:40) and Jared McCann with just under a minute remaining in the period.

The second period is where things opened up and defense was thrown out the window. The teams traded goals throughout the period, with big rookie Brett Murray netting his first career goal two minutes into the middle frame. McCann scored his second of the night five minutes later to expand the Kraken lead back to three goals.

Veteran Jeff Skinner scored his seventh goal of the season for the Sabres with under three minutes left in the period and, as mentioned previously, Appleton scored his first as a Kraken less than a minute later, which wrapped up an action-filled, 26-shot (14–12) period. Heading into the third period up 5–2, the visitors were sitting in a good position to come away with a victory.

The wildness did not end with the second period, though.

Skinner scored his second goal of the game on a terrible turnover by Jamie Oleksiak just 37 seconds after the third period opening face-off to cut the Kraken lead to 5–3, which held for almost 15 minutes. Seattle’s Jaden Schwartz scored his fifth goal of the season at the 13:44 mark to re-establish the three-goal margin.

Buffalo’s 2019 first-round draft pick, Dylan Cozens, scored his sixth of the season with a minute and a half remaining in regulation to, once again, cut the lead down to two goals, but Appleton closed out the game a minute later with an empty-net goal.

Anchor points

⚓ With his team jumping out to a comfortable lead, Driedger had the opportunity to breathe a bit. He weathered an 11-shot first period and did well to keep the Sabres from getting any closer than two goals. Two third-period goals on only six shots was the point of concern in this game. He definitely wants the Skinner power play goal back as well: Driedger overplayed the original shot and was badly out of position when Skinner banked the puck off his skates.

⚓ In most other games, four power plays against and none for would be a big issue, but the Kraken were able to hold the Sabres to only one power play goal. Seattle still sits in the creamy middle of the league at 16th on the penalty kill, while their power play has climbed to 18th overall with their recent hot streak on the man advantage.

⚓ Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin had a really rough game. He was directly responsible for both Kraken shorthanded goals, which his team never recovered from. He was also on the ice for three more even strength goals. Needless to say, Dahlin was memorable for the wrong reasons in a game where he tallied his 100th career assist.

⚓ Appleton adding to the offense is a good sign for Kraken fans. It took him 10 games to get started, so this was hopefully a sign of things to come.

⚓ Kraken leading goal scorer Jordan Eberle left the game with a lower-body injury after playing only 7:21.

⚓ The possession and analytics metrics were fairly even, which is odd in a game where one team tallied seven goals. If Buffalo could get a save in the first period, this game could very well have had a much different outcome.

🔱 5-on-5 Corsi (total shot attempts): RECAP: Kraken rack up seven goals in win over Buffalo 52%–48%
🔱 5-on-5 Fenwick (unblocked shot attempts): RECAP: Kraken rack up seven goals in win over Buffalo 51%–49%
🔱 5-on-5 high-danger chances for: RECAP: Kraken rack up seven goals in win over Buffalo 55%–45%
🔱 5-on-5 expected goals for: RECAP: Kraken rack up seven goals in win over Buffalo 51%–49%
🔱 Face-off percentage: RECAP: Kraken rack up seven goals in win over Buffalo 53%–47%

With their fourth win in their last five games, the Kraken take today off and take a short trip to Detroit to face another rebuilding team in the Detroit Red Wings. The puck drop is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PST.