NHL: Kraken shoot for regulation win, for once, vs. Sharks
Until last week, the Seattle Kraken had one overtime victory in their season-plus in the National Hockey League.
Now they’ve got two in a row.
The Kraken, who have worked extra time in three straight games, hope to get things taken care of in regulation Wednesday night when they wrap up a six-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks.
“We obviously haven’t had a lot of success in overtime (in the past),” Kraken forward Jordan Eberle said after scoring the winner Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. “And then, the last two we put a lot of work and emphasis into it. When you go into those games, those are huge points that you give up.
“You never know when you may need that extra point to get in (to the playoffs).”
The overtime streak started Nov. 13 with a 3-2 loss to Winnipeg after the Jets scored the tying goal on the power play and with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker with 5.2 seconds left in regulation.
After that loss, Kraken coach Dave Hakstol devoted time in each of the next two practices to three-on-three play.
“It’s a possession game,” Hakstol said. “So there are a lot of pieces built into it. But three-on-three is something that grows with chemistry. No question about it. You can have some basic rules, some basic systematic looks you want to put into place.
“But that grows with chemistry as well. And we need to continue growing there.”
Seattle responded by beating the New York Rangers last Thursday and the Kings on Saturday, both by 3-2 margins, to improve to 3-1-1 on the homestand.
Jared McCann and Daniel Sprong also scored against L.A., rookie Matty Beniers added two assists and goaltender Martin Jones stopped 27 shots.
“You don’t need to force it,” McCann said of playing overtime. “Hold on to it. It’s a puck possession time of the game. You’ve got to just hold on to it, make the right play and wait for your chances.”
The Sharks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory Monday against visiting Ottawa.
Five players scored for San Jose, Luke Kunin had three assists and goalie Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 saves. The Sharks had lost their previous six games (0-3-3) at home.
“Just really proud of our guys,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “That was a great bounce-back win. I thought we got better and better as the game went on.”
It was certainly a bounce-back game for Kahkonen, who allowed nine goals over his previous two starts.
“I think his confidence early on, even about a week and a half ago, was not where it needed to be,” Quinn said. “And he’s built his confidence up. He’s worked hard. He’s done a really good job.”
The Sharks’ Logan Couture scored for the fourth consecutive game on an empty-netter in the final minute to give him 10 goals this season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson had an assist to tie for third in the NHL with 29 points.
“I think we started a little bit sloppy, but we cleaned it up fairly quick,” Karlsson said. “And the last 40 minutes, I think we played like the better team and it was a nice, nice win for us to get at home. It’s been a while.”
–Field Level Media