Oliver Bjorkstrand found himself alone in front of Kaapo Kahkonen and the goal-scorer took over. Spin, forehand, backhand, flip the puck over the San Jose Sharks netminder.
Bjorkstrand shrugged off a 17-game goal drought that dated back to the season opener in Anaheim, getting the Kraken rolling again. The Sharks had already erased a two-goal deficit, but the cushion provided by Bjorkstrand and Jaden Schwartz in the early third period held on, barely, until Matty Beniers fluffed it and Schwartz threw in an empty netter in an 8-5 victory Wednesday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
Nine seconds into a minute-long 5-on-3, Andre Burakovsky tied the game at 1 through a screen from Schwartz. Burakovsky almost has another one on a third attempt but the puck didn’t make it through the mosh pit.
Beniers (1 goal, 2 assists) took the puck up the boards, blew by Nick Bonino and centered to Vince Dunn. All that was left for Dunn to do was tap it past Kahkonen and make it 2-2. Set up by Daniel Sprong, Ryan Donato gave the Kraken their first lead of the night and ended his own 11-game goal drought.
Jamie “Big Rig” Oleksiak is a hard guy to lose at 6-foot-7 and 257 pounds, but he was left alone to the left of the net and in position to angle in a feed from Justin Schultz to make it 4-2. Oleksiak missed the previous four games with a lower-body injury.
San Jose’s Timo Meier, however, scored his second of the night to close the Sharks’ deficit to one. Meier didn’t pick a corner — he went with both, scoring off each goal post. His third of the game nine minutes into the third period made it 6-5. Sharks fans dutifully tossed a handful of hats onto the ice.
Martin Jones finished with 22 saves. At 4-2, the puck popped straight up in front of him. Carson Soucy played the dangerous game of trying to bat it out of midair, but he and Logan Couture both missed it and Jones found it once it dropped.
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