If the Seattle Kraken started feeling better about themselves in the past month, the Calgary Flames gave them a bitter dose of reality Saturday night.
A Seattle team that had won six of their last 11, dominated the final two periods by falling to the Pacific Division leaders, the Flames and most recently playing in a way that saw them as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. defeated by -1. Climate Pledge Arena.
The Flames leveled the game 1-1 with 16.5 seconds remaining on a goal scored by Trevor Lewis.
Calgary goalkeeper Jakob Markström closed out five power plays in the final two periods – the game never felt close again to keep the Kraken scoreless in the final 55 minutes.
“Their goalkeeper made the difference in the second half of that hockey game,” said Kraken coach Dave Huckstole, whose team fell 23-43-6.
The Flames improved to 44–19–9 with Saturday’s win, a fourth straight point in a four-game road trip, as Calgary defeated the LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks earlier in the week, scoring two goals each. or less when scored three or more goals each time.
Hakstol showed some enthusiasm about his team’s progress in the game, saying that the team’s recent 6-5 stretch “says we’ve worked hard. We’ve played good, good hockey.”
That included a 2-0 win in Chicago on Thursday night, the second shutout in Kraken’s history.
And despite taking a little rest, in what was the team’s first Pride Night, the Kraken came out with energy, playing equally with the flames.
Still, at just 3:55 in the game, the Flames took the lead on a goal from Blake Coleman.
In case anyone was concerned that Root was running, Kraken said immediately, otherwise Carson Kuhlman fired a slap shot from inside the right faceoff circle in the first period exactly five minutes to tie 1-1 . It was Kuhlmann’s third goal of the season.
But when the Kraken thought they might be out of the first period with a tie, Calgary’s Trevor Lewis decided otherwise. Lewis’ redirection of a pass in front of the net from Noah Hanfin made it 2-1 with only 16.5 seconds to play in the first period.
“It’s a tough goal to lose,” said Huckstol, adding that he didn’t just blame goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer on starting, adding that the goal was “a team issue” and that Grubauer “played a solid game.” ,
Still, instead of going down 2-1 in the second period, “slap us a little bit,” Huxtall said. “It took us a while to get into that second period.”
The Flames began to truly take control in the second period, taking a 3–1 lead on a goal by Michael Stone on an 8:39 inch power play. The first time in the Kraken game a man had gone down thanks to a tripping penalty on Carson Sousi.
Kraken got a chance to get back into it when Stone was called for a minor at 12:42 of the second period. Kraken went 1:06 without scoring. But Calgary’s Tyler Toffoli was then called for tripping and Seattle had 54 seconds to go 5-on-3.
But some steady netminding by Markstrom caused the flames to hit both penalties.
Then, a short time later, with the 3:22 period to go, the Flames called for another penalty, grabbing Rasmus Anderson, giving the Kraken another chance.
But nonetheless, Kraken was foiled, going without a goal and entering the final period 3-1 down.
“We had a good look at those power plays at the end of the second period,” Huxtall said. “We had three real good looks. He saved in traffic. … He was the difference in those situations.”
Sousi said: “Sometimes you have to tip your hat to a good goalkeeper. … We had some really good chances, a couple that looked over (his) shoulder.”
The result seemed to be given from there.
Kraken had chances during the third period, including going late when the flames were punished for having too many men on the ice.
But the Kraken also had to hit two power plays for their own penalty – tripping over Will Bourdain and hooking to Susie – and neither team scored in the third period until the final minute.
Seattle pulled Grubauer, who started less than 48 hours after pitching his second shutout of the year, with only three minutes remaining.
Tifoli added a blank-net goal shortly after, with 1:07 to spare, to make it 4-1.
The game marked a difficult turnaround for Kraken, which played in St. Louis on Wednesday and Chicago on Thursday. This meant that the team did not hold its usual morning skate.
But Huxtall said before the game that he would not consider it a suitable excuse.
“Well, it’s the schedule,” Huxtall said. “What I would say is that a good supporter is able to show up in an imperfect position and compete hard because there are so many imperfect positions.”
Kraken showed yet again on Saturday that they themselves are the most imperfect positions.