The Kraken got the goaltending they needed from Philipp Grubauer Friday but struggled to score during a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. They have suddenly lost three straight after a franchise best seven-game win streak.
Grubauer was on his game allowing two goals on 36 shots including 12 saves in the first period and 13 in the second.
“He was really good,” Kraken defenseman Adam Larsson said. “He was awesome. We’ve got to score more than one goal.”
Seattle lost the game in the second period when the Capitals (13-12-4) scored twice and had the Kraken on their heels. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak was lost for the game after being assessed a five-minute checking to the head call that carried a match penalty with it.
The Kraken did a good job killing the first part of the ensuing major power play, but former Kraken Marcus Johansson scored after his shot hit Grubauer’s shoulder and fluttered over him and in. That broke a 1-1 tie and came at 13:15 of the second period.
“They beat us on the one entry that got wide and beat us to the net,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said of the power-play goal. “Beyond that, the PK did a pretty good job.”
Washington was one for four on the power play for the night.
Anthony Mantha tied the game at 1-1 when a scramble happened in front of Grubauer at 5:20 of the second, and Mantha poked the puck off Oleksiak and in.
“The biggest problem was in the second period,” Hakstol said. “We couldn’t find our legs, we couldn’t find any momentum during that period.”
Larsson scored a goal for the Kraken (15-8-3), who lost their second game in regulation on the road. Alex Ovechkin picked up career goal 796 and is now five away from tying Gordie Howe’s career mark of 801, which is the second most in NHL history.
Charlie Lindgren made 25 saves for Washington.
Larsson opened the game’s scoring and gave Seattle a 1-0 lead at 17:51 of the first. Morgan Geekie won a faceoff in the Washington zone, and Larsson took a wrist shot from the blue line that found its way through traffic and in for Larsson’s first goal in 21 games.
Just prior to the faceoff, Larsson and Dunn switched sides, which helped Larsson create a shooting lane.
“I think it’s more about what line you line up with and what threat the forwards have. It worked out,” Larsson said.
Lars Eller scored an empty-net goal at 18:54 of the third to make it 3-1, followed by Ovechkin who hit the empty net at 19:56 to round out the scoring at 4-1.
Second period woes
Not only did the Kraken give up two goals in the second, but they were outshot 15-6. The Capitals also had a 24-10 advantage in shots attempted at five on five and 77.68 percent of the shot quality.
That disparity played out throughout the game. The Kraken recovered somewhat in the third period, but Washington ended with 54.95 percent of the shot attempts and 78.96 percent of the shot quality.
Those numbers point out how huge Grubauer was as this game should probably have been out of hand earlier than it was.
- The Kraken fall to 8-2-1 on the road this season.
- Seattle had won six straight road games before Friday’s game.
- The upcoming Kraken schedule is tough, and they will next be in action Sunday at Florida. “We just go back to work,” Hakstol said. “Tough stretches, they’re part of this. You have stretches where you play well and things go your way, and you have tough stretches on the schedule where you’ve got to step up and go play good hockey. Our group is strong in the dressing room, and we remain confident.”
- Seattle was without forward Jaden Schwartz who was scratched due to an upper body issue and is day to day.