Kraken put up fight but fall to playoff-bound Jets for 4th consecutive loss

Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times on

Published in Hockey

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — There were plenty of opportunities for the Kraken to quit by the early second-period stages of the one game they definitely weren’t supposed to win on this trip.

And they didn’t in this one after falling behind by a pair Tuesday night against the playoff-bound Winnipeg Jets, tying it up and narrowly missing taking a lead early in the final frame. But Tyler Toffoli took a Nicolaj Ehlers feed on the power play, went in alone and beat Philipp Grubauer with just over eight minutes remaining to hand the Kraken a 4-3 defeat and extend their losing streak to four.

The Jets had blown teams apart lately in winning five straight, the last two of which saw them outscore Stanley Cup contenders Dallas and Colorado by scores of 3-0 and 7-0 respectively. Throw in all-world Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck usually not allowing more than a goal or two nightly en route to what looks like a runaway Vezina Trophy win, and things appeared dire once the Kraken went down 3-1 early in the second. But the Kraken would rally before period’s end on goals by Yanni Gourde and Tye Kartye before the period ended and then nearly took the lead four minutes into the third when Andre Burakovsky’s pass across the crease to Jared McCann wound up bouncing off his skates before he could convert.

Gourde earlier in the day had again stressed the importance of his team not quitting. And he put that advice to practical use in the second period.

The Kraken had tied the game 1-1 late in the first when Tomas Tatar sneaked a shot past Hellebuyck through a partial screen. But the Jets went ahead again just six seconds before intermission when Kyle Connor popped home a rebound past Grubauer for his second of the game.


Things then took a dire turn when Ehlers made it 3-1 by lunging at a rebound and knocking it home before sprawling face first to the ice.

But Gourde certainly didn’t quit when positioned at the net front as Ryker Evans delivered an incoming point shot. Gourde got his stick out for a perfect last-second deflection that Hellebuyck had no chance on.

That made it a one-goal game again just five minutes into the middle frame and the Kraken seemed to find some life. They played the rest of the period fairly evenly before Gourde stole a puck in the opposing end in the final two minutes, to lead a 2-on-0 rush before sliding the puck over to Kartye, who had a wide open right side of the net within which to deposit his 10th goal this rookie season.

But the Jets are going to the playoffs for a reason, surviving the early third-period scare and rallying for the win. McCann took a hooking penalty with under 10 minutes to play, leading to a power-play goal by Toffoli that decided things.

©2024 The Seattle Times. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus