Unfortunately, the Kraken are buried in the standings, otherwise the point they earned Thursday in Ottawa would have loomed huge in a playoff race.
After playing flat for two periods, Seattle trailed 3-0 heading into the third but would roar back to score three goals and force overtime. Ottawa’s Josh Norris scored on a power-play goal at 2:34 of the extra period and the Senators would hold off the Kraken with a 4-3 win at Canadian Tire Centre.
“The first two periods were inexcusable, I think we knew that,” Ryan Donato said. “The momentum was dead. We needed something, Jared [McCann] got a big goal and once we got that feeling of ‘we’re back in this,’ I think a lot of guys felt a lot better about the situation. I thought we put in a hell of an effort in the third period and unfortunately it ended the way it did. But testament to our character.”
The results weren’t what Seattle wanted, but the comeback was impressive as the Kraken continue to show resiliency no matter the circumstances.
“It’s important to be able to go out there and play hard for one another and fight, compete right till the very end, whether we got one or not,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s real important, but, to be able to execute and build on that momentum and have that period where everybody fed off each other is important but doesn’t lessen the disappointment in terms of the loss in overtime. We’re not looking for feel good points, we’re looking for wins and it’s tough to tie that game up and come back and then lose it in overtime.”
About five minutes into the third period, Chris Driedger got his body in front of a shot from Artem Zub. It was a shot that looked like it would flip the score to 4-0 and end the night for the Kraken. Driedger kept it out and it woke up the Kraken.
Starting with Jared McCann scoring his 22nd at 9:14, the Kraken stormed back with goals in quick succession. McCann’s goal was followed by Donato tipping a Jamie Oleksiak pass in to cut the lead to 3-2 at 9:50.
Donato was playing his first game since March 2 and had been a healthy scratch the past three games.
“He was prepared, he was ready for puck drop,” McCann said. “It was good, really good to see him get one there. He deserved it, he works his bag off.”
The comeback would be completed at 13:01 when Mason Appleton’s shot hit goalie Anton Forsberg but fluttered in to tie the game at 3-3.
“We just came alive, we played simple,” McCann said. “It sounds cliche at this point, but that’s the way we’ve got to play to win games. The first two periods were pretty bad obviously and we had some bad turnovers and kind of left [Driedger] out to dry again.”
Forsberg stopped 30 Kraken shots and Norris scored two goals for Ottawa (21-31-5), who won its second game in a row. Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist.
Driedger ended the game with 23 saves for Seattle (17-27-5), who have lost the first four games of a five-game road trip.
Early disallowed goal costly for Kraken
Seattle scored first in the game when Appleton converted a cross-ice pass from Colin Blackwell. It gave the Kraken life and momentum, but it would be short-lived as the Senators challenged the play for offside. After a review, it was ruled that Yanni Gourde was in the zone early, no goal.
Fifteen seconds later, Norris gave the Senators a 1-0 lead at 8:32 of the first period when he attacked the net and tipped in a pass from Tkachuk for his 21st of the season and fourth point in his past two games.
“I think there’s always ebbs and flows,” Donato said. “I feel like lately, a lot of the chances that we’ve got or the reviews have gone the other way for us and sometimes that can be deflating, but I think we got to learn from our past lessons. You can’t get too high or too low on those decisions. You can’t control those, and you got to be big the next shift.”
What was a fast and energetic start for Seattle soon deflated like a leaky party balloon.
Tkachuk extended the Ottawa lead to 2-0 at 5:43 of the second period after Oleksiak failed to clear the puck out of the zone. The Senators intercepted his outlet pass and put it on net where Tkachuk backhanded a rebound past Driedger.
Another defensive mistake allowed the Senators to go up 3-0 at 7:40. Adam Larsson fumbled the puck in his own zone and Ottawa jumped on it, leading to a goal by Parker Kelly.
+ Defenseman Haydn Fleury was in the lineup for the Kraken Thursday. He had not played since Feb 22.
+ Joonas Donskoi was a healthy scratch for the Kraken.
+ Despite earning a point in the standings, the Kraken have slipped to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Already a lottery team for the upcoming draft, Seattle leads the Montreal Canadiens by three points (Montreal has three games in hand) for the last spot in the league, and the most lotto balls in the Draft. The two teams will play in Montreal on Saturday.