Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Kraken visit Canucks, aim to sustain momentum

Field Level Media
18 Nov 2023, 11:40 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports)

No lead is safe, it seems, for the Seattle Kraken.

Heading into Saturday's night's game at Vancouver, the Kraken have blown leads in 15 of their past 16 contests.

Remarkably, they're 6-5-4 in those situations, including a 4-3 shootout victory Thursday night against the visiting New York Islanders.

But those five regulation losses and four overtime defeats have been costly, as the Kraken already face a double-digit deficit in the Pacific Division chase.

"You can't dig yourself too big a hole as you get into your divisional schedule," Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. "That win-loss record, at the end of the year, starts to add up pretty quickly and dictates a lot, in terms of potential playoff positioning."

The most difficult blown lead came Wednesday in Edmonton, when the Kraken were up two goals with fewer than seven minutes remaining in regulation and lost 4-3 in overtime.

"I mean, we've had games where we've played well and lost," Kraken forward Jordan Eberle said. "We've maybe had one game where we haven't played our best, and we found a way to win. I'd like to think that over a season, those games equal out."

Kailer Yamamoto was the first star Thursday, getting a goal and an assist and then scoring the winner in the eighth round of the shootout.

"To get that win is huge for us," Yamamoto said. "Just be able to contribute to the team and the team's success, it feels really good."

The Kraken snapped a streak of six consecutive shootout losses, dating to the start of last season. They had gone scoreless in their previous five shootouts before netting three of eight attempts against the Islanders.

"It was awesome (Thursday)," Hakstol said. "Guys loosened up. And as soon as one went in for us, you can feel some of that tension go."

The Canucks, off to the best start in franchise history and on the heels of defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas in the division, were burned in a 5-2 loss Thursday at Calgary.

It was just the second loss in the past nine games for the Canucks and goaltender Casey DeSmith suffered his first defeat despite making 34 saves.

Elias Pettersson and Nils Hoglander tallied for Vancouver. Canucks defenseman Filip Hronek had an 11-game point streak come to an end.

Like the Kraken, the Canucks were playing for the second time in as many nights. Vancouver defeated the visiting Islanders 4-3 Wednesday in overtime.

"I think we were tired. It caught up to us," Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. "The second half of the game, listen, they didn't quit. I got no problem. But you've got to learn how to play tired. You've got to manage the puck a little more."

Hoglander said the Canucks got away from their game plan.

"It's easy to say but keep it simple, I think," Hoglander said. "We had a lot of turnovers. We learn and do better next game."

This will be the first meeting of the season between the Kraken and Canucks.

- Field Level Media

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