SEATTLE — The Seattle Kraken couldn’t muster a comeback against the Florida Panthers and their franchise-best, seven-game win streak came to an end Saturday night at Climate Pledge Arena with a 5-1 loss.
Jared McCann’s team-leading 11th goal of the season made it 2-1 early in the second period. McCann stutter-stepped around the crease and got to Jordan Eberle’s rebound. McCann had pressed himself up against the net as he put it in, then shoved it off its moorings for emphasis.
Matthew Tkachuk restored the two-goal lead with the Florida Panthers’ second power-play tally of the night four minutes later, however, and Seattle fell further and further behind after that.
Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer slid well outside the crease and was reaching backward when Florida’s Marc Staal dropped in. Staal had just missed the tap-in on a 3-on-2 and clipped Seattle’s goalie, tumbling over him. The Panthers’ Carter Verhaeghe sent the puck into an empty net.
The contact kept Grubauer from getting back faster than he might have, but it happened outside the crease and it looked as if Staal tried to keep from landing on him, at least. Seattle challenged, but after a quick review, the goal was upheld and the Kraken assessed a delay-of-game penalty. Twenty-six seconds into that power play, Verhaeghe doubled the lead.
Things got mouthy and grabby during the second period. Play was allowed to continue. Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn was tangled up with Verhaeghe and took matters into his own hands, pestering Verhaeghe down the ice. They drew matching roughing minors plus an extra two minutes for slashing to Dunn, which led to Tkachuk’s power-play goal.
Seattle’s penalty kill, fourth-worst in the NHL heading into the game at 68.9% efficiency, gave up three more. Seattle has allowed at least one power-play goal in each of the last six outings and 11 in total during that stretch.
Grubauer made the initial save on the Panthers’ fourth goal, but the puck was between his legs. As he clicked his heels together, he sent it into his own net.
Gustav Forsling closed the scoring for Florida.©2022 The Seattle Times. Visit seattletimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.