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Kraken can't take advantage of Senators' porous defense in loss

Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times on

Published in Hockey

OTTAWA, Ontario — Every scoreless minute played by the visiting Kraken loomed large as their Saturday night ticked away against an opponent that typically gives up goals by the truckload.

While the Kraken don’t often score in bunches no matter who they play, a 2-0 loss to the Senators will certainly feel like a blown opportunity compared to results against far stingier teams they’ve faced. Both teams liberally padded their shot totals throughout, but few of them were converted until a couple of Kraken giveaways wound up doing them in.

Matty Beniers blew a tire in front of his own net and Mathieu Joseph was there to put the loose puck behind Joey Daccord to open the scoring in the first period. Then, with the second period winding down, Daccord gave the puck away to Vladimir Tarasenko behind his own net and saw Drake Batherson eventually deposit it into a vacated left side after the Sens passed it around with precision.

Daccord otherwise played well and managed to keep his team in the game the final two minutes of the middle frame by stymieing Tim Stutzle on a clear-cut breakaway.

He robbed Stutzle again while short-handed eight minutes into the third period on a 2-on-1 break. Stutzle attempted to pass the puck across, but it deflected off defender Vince Dunn and headed toward an open net before Daccord threw his glove back the other way and snagged it.

But the way the Kraken were going offensively it wound up mattering little. The Kraken outshot the Senators 15-3 in the final period — and 39-28 overall — but could not make any of those efforts count in falling to 8-11-6 on the season with their fourth consecutive defeat.

Ottawa came in with the fourth-worst goals-against average in the league at 3.44 per contest. Their 61 goals allowed was only six fewer than the Kraken, who’ve played six more games.

 

Ottawa goalie Anton Forsberg entered with a dismal .850 save percentage, but nevertheless handed the Kraken their second shutout of the season to go with one at the hands of Nashville the season’s opening week.

The Kraken’s best chance might have come midway through the second period while down a goal. An Ottawa player fell heavily into the side boards, creating a 2-on-1 rush — that eventually became a 4-on-1 — led by Beniers, who managed to get a deflected pass over to Eberle, only to see his shot attempt turned aside by Forsberg.

Otherwise, the Grade-A chances net front for the Kraken were rather limited the day after the team announced that Jaden Schwartz would be out six weeks with an upper-body injury. Schwartz makes his living going to the net and hunting for goals, a skill that the return of injured Brandon Tanev can partially replicate but didn’t in this contest.

As was the case on Thursday night in Toronto, when the Kraken overcame a 3-1 deficit to force overtime in an eventual shootout loss, they had some chance in close early in the final frame of this one. Pressing hard for an opening goal, the Kraken buzzed the Ottawa net and nearly got rewarded on a Yanni Gourde backhand from nine feet out.

But Forsberg was there to again make the stop.

The Kraken were then awarded a rather fortunate power play at the 6:35 mark of the period when the Sens were caught with too many men on the ice. But once again, they could not convert and Stutzle’s denied short-handed chance on the 2-on-1 break wound up the best scoring opportunity by either team.


©2023 The Seattle Times. Visit seattletimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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