Things seemed headed the Kraken’s way back toward .500 respectability on a Monday night their top-three point-getters from last season all found the back of the net by roughly the game’s halfway point.
But as has been known to happen in a trying opening month-plus, the Kraken once again slowed offensively in the final period, couldn’t hold a late lead and headed for their eighth overtime in the first 20 games of the season. And with that extra session ticking down, Rasmus Andersson beat Joey Daccord with a wrist shot to hand the Kraken a stunning 4-3 defeat and once again delay that .500 push.
Andrew Mangiapane had tied things up with 4:07 to go in regulation, beating Daccord after he’d made a number of key saves to preserve the lead.
Daccord worked the final two periods in relief of Philipp Grubauer as the Kraken — who dropped to 7-8-5 — failed in their bid to notch their first three-game win streak of the season. Grubauer allowed two goals on the first five shots and was briefly shaken up on another early Calgary marker called back when he got run over in his crease. There was no immediate word on any Grubauer injury.
Still, despite the sluggish start at Climate Pledge Arena against a Flames team the Kraken should beat, the triad of Vince Dunn, Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann began putting pucks in the net to turn deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 into a 3-2 lead.
One reason the Kraken have had a tough time reaching .500 after an opening night defeat had been the struggles by some top line players counted on for goal production. McCann has produced all season — notching his team-high eighth goal in this one — but Eberle in particular struggled with just one goal in a scarce opening month compounded by early droughts for Matty Beniers and Eeli Tolvanen.
But all three of those players have started coming on of late, particularly Eberle since his return from a deep skate blade cut to his leg. Goals by Eberle and McCann just 2:04 apart midway through the second period helped the Kraken erase a 2-1 deficit and put away a Flames team that had badly outplayed them their first meeting here just more than two weeks ago.
Things didn’t start great for the Kraken as Elias Lindholm wristed a puck past Grubauer from the top of the right circle just 76 seconds into the game. Just 46 seconds later, the Flames nearly made it 2-0 when Martin Pospisil broke for the net and ran Grubauer over just as the puck slid on by him into the net.
Goaltender interference was signaled immediately, and the goal waved off. The Kraken seized advantage about six minuted later when Vince Dunn wound up at the left point and blistered a slap shot past Dan Vladar to tie things 1-1.
But the Flames wasted little time regaining the lead as Jonathan Huberdeau put a wrist shot behind Grubauer just under three minutes later and headed to intermission ahead 2-1.
The Kraken have been in these situations before; trailing despite a fairly good period in which they outshot the visitors by a 10-7 margin. But the Kraken, who’ve often let up in middle periods this season, kept coming at the Flames — running up a 17-6 shots margin and putting two goals up on the visitors.
Eberle drew them even at the 8:21 mark, shoveling a puck toward the net that trickled past Vladar to tie the game. Then, just 2:04 later, Larsson fired a puck from the right point that was deflected by McCann off the goal post and in to put the Kraken ahead.
But things tightened up in the final period with the Flames pressing and again, the Kraken couldn’t find an answer.
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