Kraken ends preseason tour in Washington with 4-1 loss to Flames
KENT – The Kraken had already shown that it could react late by a delay. He had also already shown that he could find a way to fall behind despite his dominance in shooting attempts.
After feeling eerily similar to the previous day’s game against the Oilers, the Kraken opened up a big advantage over the Calgary Flames and still found themselves forced to play from behind in a 4-1 loss on Saturday night. .
This time instead of a bad start and a good finish, the Kraken came off the grid hot and then stagnated. Still, head coach Dave Hakstol drew some positives from the power play and other chances created.
“We have started well,” said Hakstol. “We did a lot of good things, especially in the power play, we generated offensive opportunities.
The contest was the last of the Kraken’s preseason tour through Washington, following a spectacular overtime victory at Everett on Friday night.
Saturday night’s result was not so lucky for the crowded crowd at ShoWare Center.
“We didn’t start on time last night, we did it tonight,” Hakstol said. “We didn’t keep our momentum going all along. A few fixes that cost us separately as we started to slow down overall. “
After the Kraken, who took the lead on 8-1 shots, failed to perform two power plays in the first period, the Flames burned them to one of their own.
Former Everett Silvertips forward Byron Froese fired a shot from Juuso Valimaki from the point by Kraken goalkeeper Chris Driedger with 16.2 seconds left in the first frame and just 10 seconds off the Kraken penalty.
Following a chance for Ryan Donato on the offensive side of the Kraken where he rang the post, Flames defenseman Micheal Stone fired a shot that deflected Froese for the second count, piercing Driedger’s pads with 16:58 to play in the second and doing so is 2-0 for the Flames.
The Kraken’s fourth power play of the evening didn’t improve until it got worse.
Glenn Gawain made a turnaround from the Kraken’s offensive blue line and was two steps ahead of the Seattle defense when he beat Driedger on the wrist at 11:18 to go into the second, giving a 3-0 lead. to the Flames on the shorthanded goal. .
Hakstol said he doesn’t believe this is a product of the inexperienced power play unit, which has been the subject of scrutiny for just over a week. Instead, he liked the way the Kraken backcheckers kept the shot out after the turnover, he just slipped into the net.
“We’re looking at the number of changes we’ve generated,” Hakstol said. “I like the suite from last night. Last night we did a really good job and generated and had a good execution overall. But there was no major outage there.
A little over a minute later, the Kraken finally broke through, still with the advantage of man.
A blast from Vince Dunn with 10:10 left in the second shattered Calgary goalie Dan Vladar’s shutout and brought the Kraken’s offense to life, making it a 3-1 game. Alexander Wennberg, who was working on the first power play unit in back-to-back games, pulled the pass to find Dunn along the blue line.
It was a nice response for Dunn, who had a tough game the day before with a few turnovers and mostly playing on the second power play unit. He started on Saturday with the front group and it paid off.
“I think I got better as the game went on,” said Dunn. “It was a long break for me, like everyone else, this first game can be difficult for some guys. I think we’re all anxious to get started.
Connor Mackey beat Driedger on a Kraken defenseman’s screen for the Flames’ fourth and final goal just midway through the third period.
Driedger likely completed his last game of the preseason with Philipp Grubauer, the expected starter for the preseason final in Vancouver on Tuesday. He made 10 saves on 13 shots, but struggled with the awkwardness of the Flames’ weak performance.
“It’s more difficult from a goaltender point of view,” he said. “The first two attempts were advice on these. The last two were pretty sweet so I really have to be better. It’s just hard to get into it, so I have to do some entry work to get that focus.
Hakstol started the same mid-six that is expected to start the season, with the lines centered on Wennberg and Morgan Geekie. Tuesday’s game will be the last look before the Kraken have Vegas on their side to start the regular season.
The show finale should give a lot of answers as to which direction the Kraken will start in, especially after a practice Monday to plan on its final look.
“We looked (the movie) all over the place,” Hakstol said. “We’re going to do the exact same thing for now, going through the routine for Game Five as well. Add that to the areas that we think are starting to solidify, and also continue to assess and improve in the last workout on Monday.