Kraken rally vs. Senators but still see 5-game winning streak come to an end
The Kraken’s plucky comeback amounted to nothing.
They erased a three-goal deficit and even led the Ottawa Senators before falling in regulation, 5-4. A five-game win streak came to a bitter end Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
“We showed a lot of character and showed a lot of fight, but it’s a tough one to swallow when you can’t pull (that) one out,” Kraken forward Jared McCann said.
The Kraken got another multipoint effort — his fourth in five games — from their hottest scorer. McCann has 10 goals in 14 contests.
Ottawa was up by three before the game was nine minutes old. Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy felt Shane Pinto’s presence on the doorstep and turned to hassle him a moment too late, as Pinto had corralled a rebound and put it past a lunging Philipp Grubauer and into the empty net.
Pinto is one of the NHL rookies chasing Kraken center Matty Beniers in the Calder Trophy race. Pinto’s goal gave him 17 on the season, two short of Beniers’ haul. Pinto’s 28 points put him eighth on the rookie list, where Beniers (47) is solidly in first.
The Senators turned in a pair of goals 17 seconds apart. Nick Holden lost the puck in his skates but nudged it back to trailing Jakob Chychrun, who beat Grubauer with a rising shot.
“I feel like we were rushing the play,” McCann said. “We just gave them free breakouts. We didn’t finish checks in the first 20 minutes of the game. Their defense were jumping by us and getting odd-man rushes.”
Grubauer tried to send the puck around the boards and turned it over, barely getting back to the net in time for Patrick Brown’s shot. Grubauer made contact, but the puck bounced past him.
Down 3-0 on eight shots on goal, Kraken coach Dave Hakstol called his timeout to settle the team but didn’t swap goaltenders.
“We gave them every opportunity that they had,” defenseman Vince Dunn said. “We know they’re a very desperate team right now. They’re right in the playoff race. They gave it the best first 10 minutes they had.
“We need to be prepared for that. We need to do a better job in our building.”
McCann scored his second short-handed tally of the season to launch the comeback. He went off on a 2-on-1 with Yanni Gourde. McCann’s shot was stopped, but the rebound went straight in off the shin guard of Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot.
The Kraken (37-22-6) were within a goal following Jaden Schwartz’ deflection of a Dunn shot. McCann tied the game at three, tracking the puck midair before batting it in.
Dunn gave the Kraken their only short-lived lead of the game. He tucked a shot inside the far post 3:23 into the third period. Dunn is on an eight-game point streak (three goals, eight assists), which isn’t even the defenseman’s best run of the season. He had a nine-game point streak in January.
Thirty-eight seconds after Dunn’s goal, the Senators tied it, and Alex DeBrincat made it 5-4 with less than three minutes to play.
“Regardless of how the first 50-plus minutes go, we’re in a position to earn that point,” Hakstol said.
“In any situation after a win or loss, you have a couple hours to process it, then you have to move on. That’s what our group will do with a disappointing loss tonight.”
The Kraken went 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. Seattle is 30 for 31 on the penalty kill (96.8%) since Feb. 14.
Mads Sogaard turned in 29 saves for Ottawa while Grubauer finished with 26 for Seattle.
“He battled up through the PKs and gave us the opportunity to dig our way back out,” Hakstol said. “At 3-0, that was his job. We needed to have some battle. He needed to come up some saves and give us an opportunity to dig out of that hole and he did that.”
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