A statement game? Playoff intensity? The biggest win in Kraken franchise history? All and any of the superlatives thrown at Seattle are appropriate after the Kraken won for the seventh straight time while handing the Boston Bruins their first home regulation loss of the season in a 3-0 shutout at TD Garden Thursday night.
“We played a really good road game tonight,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s a tough place to win, obviously, nobody’s been able to do that here this year. Our guys should be proud of that. We did all the little things that you have to do to win. We scored a couple of timely goals and had really good goaltending. For long stretches of the game, we managed the puck extremely well.”
The Kraken stifled the Bruins offense, which leads the NHL in scoring, by sticking to them like glue with a tremendous defensive effort. Seattle was stout in their own end, caused trouble with the forecheck, and managed the neutral zone.
Holding on to a two-goal lead late, the Bruins pulled goalie Linus Ullmark for the extra skater with over 4:30 on the clock. Boston controlled the puck and pinned the Kraken in their own zone but couldn’t get pucks past the defenders and especially past goalie Martin Jones.
Jaden Schwartz finally flipped the puck down the ice at 18:10 of the third period, and it trickled its way into the empty net to make it 3-0. At that point, the breath came back, the nerves settled, and the Kraken had it in hand.
“Obviously we got an early lead,” forward Brandon Tanev said. “We weathered some great chances, and our goaltender played incredible. Jonesy was incredible and we had some great blocks by our group down the stretch and everyone was committed to playing the right way.”
Jones ended with 27 saves for his second straight road shutout after he made 21 saves against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. Tanev and Eeli Tolvanen each had a goal for Seattle (25-12-4), who have won the first six games of a seven-game road trip.
Ullmark stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced for Boston (32-5-4), who had won four straight.
After causing a turnover via the forecheck, Tanev threw the puck around and behind the Boston net to Daniel Sprong. Tanev raced in front of the net and Sprong took a shot that Tanev deflected from a tight angle past Ullmark to put the Kraken up 1-0 at 7:14 of the first period.
That ended up being all the goals Jones would need, but Seattle got a big, momentum-swinging goal near the end of the second period.
Tolvanen got a pass between the circles at 19:21. He waited a beat, spun, and fired a shot that hit the post and went in to give the Kraken a big 2-0 lead.
Was it a statement win?
“I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it,” Hakstol said. “It’s a good win. I love it and I’m proud of the guys and the effort the guys had tonight, and they should feel good about it. You don’t come in here with any passengers and win a hockey game. For me, that’s what you hope to do in any road game.”
Jones in the zone
Given a 2-0 lead, Jones did the rest.
He kept his calm demeanor and kicked away every Boston attempt. The highlight save came in the second period when Bruins forward David Pastrnak got loose behind the defense. Jones calmly knocked the breakaway attempt into the corner.
“He’s obviously got a great shot,” Jones said. “I just tried to have a good gap on him and stay patient and I was able to get the blocker on it.”
After Tolvanen’s goal, Jones stood tall again as the Bruins attacked the net. Also on that play, all five Kraken skaters packed in the goal, including Jordan Eberle who was in the net, to help keep the puck out.
Jones has started six of the seven games that the Kraken have won since Jan. 1 and only allowed eight goals.
“We checked well,” Jones said. “In front of the net I thought we did a really good job with blocked shots, we picked up sticks, we cleared pucks out, that was probably the biggest thing.”
- Jones last had consecutive shutouts during the 2015-16 season with the San Jose Sharks. He is the first Kraken goalie to do so.
- The shutout was the 27th of his career.
- Seattle has yet to lose in the calendar year of 2023 and is the seventh team in the past decade to start a calendar year with seven consecutive wins.
- The Kraken have two seven-game win streaks this year and are the second expansion team to do so in their first two seasons, equaling the Vegas Golden Knights.
- Tanev’s goal opened the scoring and was the 14th time this season the Kraken have done so, second most in the NHL behind the Dallas Stars.
- The last NHL team to open a road trip by winning the first six game were the 2015-16 San Jose Sharks. The goaltender on that team? Martin Jones.