SEATTLE — The Seattle Kraken put up a good fight as their winless streak hit six games, outshooting the New Jersey Devils 38-17. It wasn’t enough in a 2-1 regulation loss on Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
There are parallels between the Kraken and Devils. Both teams had massive turnarounds after finishing in the bottom five of the NHL in 2021-22. They exceeded expectations last season and made the playoffs, each team winning a round before being eliminated.
The Devils are coming out of a November swoon not unlike the one the Kraken are in right now. They dropped seven of nine games, all in regulation. The Kraken had lost six of seven entering Thursday’s first meeting of the season between the teams.
Seattle got off to a good start and held up under New Jersey’s early pressure. On what could have been a clean 2-on-1, the Devils’ Jack Hughes decided to be tricky and cut them a break, backtracking over the blue line and giving Andre Burakovsky time to recover. Will Borgen swept the puck out of immediate danger, and Philipp Grubauer eventually watched a popped-up puck fall into his glove, hopping up to make the catch.
That snag was one of 15 for Grubauer.
The Devils sent the puck crisscrossing the neutral zone, and Ondrej Palat was at the back door waiting for an easy redirect to make it 1-0 with less than three minutes left in the first period.
Seattle’s Burakovsky did the dirty work on the setup, and Alex Wennberg tapped a centering pass to Tye Kartye, who scored his fifth of the season midway through the second period. The tie lasted less than a minute as New Jersey’s Simon Nemec liked what he saw on the Kraken goal and scored from the same spot.
Burakovsky reentered the lineup after a 20-game absence and earned the secondary assist on Kartye’s goal. For about 20 minutes, his return looked extremely short-lived. He was bumped into the boards and lost his footing with six minutes left in the middle frame, then went down the tunnel. He returned for the start of the third period.
An earlier Devils penalty was immediately canceled out, so the Kraken power play didn’t get a chance to really work until midway through the third period. It was a spirited effort that tested Devils goalie Akira Schmid, but all four shots on goal stayed out.
In his NHL debut, 21-year-old defenseman Ryker Evans was on the ice for Kartye’s goal and saw his first NHL shot on goal swallowed by Schmid. His second was a wraparound attempt that was stopped. He went out with the second power-play unit.
Evans took Justin Schultz’s place in the lineup, while usual fourth-line center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was scratched in favor of Devin Shore.
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