Yanni Gourde’s winner at 1:24 of overtime propelled the Seattle Kraken to an improbable fourth straight road win and two huge points in the playoff race. Seattle found a way to a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena Sunday.
“We’re happy with the two points,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “We had to really stay with it, had to get a little bit better throughout the game, and in small competitive areas, we wanted to be a little bit better as we went through the game.”
In an overtime period that saw the Kraken win the opening face-off and not allow the Avalanche to touch the puck throughout, Vince Dunn noticed Colorado in a line change and sent a pass to Gourde. Colorado lost track of Gourde during the change, and he was able to skate in the Avalanche zone by himself and get a shot off that hit the post and went in for the game-winner.
“I didn’t see much of the net honestly,” said Gourde. “He’s a great goalie, challenged us a lot. I didn’t see much. I just felt like shooting low blocker was my best option.”
The fact that the game was in overtime at all was impressive.
Colorado goalie Alexandar Georgiev had made 32 saves and stymied Seattle all night. As time was running down, Jaden Schwartz stole the puck on a forecheck and got it to Brandon Tanev who was parked in front of the net. He scored at 17:30 of the third to tie the game at 2-2.
“[Tanev’s] got a lot of speed, plays hard, he’s good at reading the play a little bit and finding those pockets,” Schwartz said. “He’s had a lot of good chances and tonight was no different. He just stuck with it. He’s a guy that didn’t really let their goalie get in his head. He just kept going.”
Alex Wennberg scored and Schwartz had two assists for Seattle (36-21-6), who won its seventh overtime decision this season. Philipp Grubauer matched Georgiev all night, making 21 saves.
Nathan MacKinnon and Denis Malgin each scored for the Avalanche (34-21-6), who had lost the night before against the Dallas Stars.
MacKinnon gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 9:19 of the first period. He got the puck in the right face-off circle and made a quick move to create a lane that allowed him to snap a quick shot off.
The Kraken tied the game at 1-1 at 9:52 of the second when Wennberg was able to deflect a Will Borgen shot for his 12th goal of the year and second in as many games.
Seattle’s momentum was short lived as Colorado wrestled the lead back at 11:45 when Cale Makar sprung Malgin free, and he was able to get a shot past Grubauer to send the Avalanche to the room ahead 2-1 at the second intermission.
Kraken win despite the power play
The Kraken ended the night 0-for-5 with the man advantage and looked like they had blown a big chance at the start of the third period. Colorado had been called for two penalties at the second period horn meaning the Kraken started the final frame with a full 5-on-3 look.
Seattle had looks but Georgiev stood stall and frustrated the Kraken.
“We could look back on that and that could be a real key point of this hockey game,” Hakstol said. “Fortunately for us, we were to be able to make a play that made that not the case. But we’d like to execute a little bit better overall on the power play tonight.”
Despite missing a golden chance, Seattle outshot the Avalanche 16-7 in the third period and 35-23 during the game. They stuck with it and were ultimately rewarded for it with a big, playoff-type win.
“He played unbelievable,” Grubauer said of his counterpart Georgiev. “I thought he made it really hard on us, was reading the shots really well. And then for us, it’s just about playing in our zone and for me making the stops.”
- Gourde became the 13th player on the Kraken roster with 10 or more goals this season.
- Seattle is the first NHL team with 13 or more 10-plus goal scorers at this point in the season since the 1991-1992 Washington Capitals.
- MacKinnon reached the 25-goal mark in a season for the fifth time in his NHL career.
- Grubauer won three of the four games on the Kraken’s road trip that ended Sunday. Martin Jones won the fourth.