Connect with us


Traveling Bolts Tame Red-Hot Kraken

If someone had asked you at the start of the season who would be the hottest team in the league at the midpoint, raise your hand if you would have voted for the Seattle Kraken! I’m guessing not a lot of hands are raised right now. Yet, here we are. The halfway point in the season. The Kraken are returning home after what would have been a grueling road trip for any team. Seven straight games. In some very tough buildings. A winning record in the 7 would have been impressive. But a sweep of all 7? Almost unheard of. Yet, that is exactly what the Kraken did- including handing the big bad Bruins their first regulation home loss in a 3-0 shutout. They come into this game on an 8-game overall winning streak. Can they keep the magic going at home? Standing in their way this afternoon is the traveling Bolts. The Bolts have won 7 of their last 9 games but have struggled on the road, hovering right around the .500 mark. They are currently on their longest road trip of the season- a five gamer. They have beaten the Kraken in all 3 games since Seattle joined the league. To add to the excitement, Captain Steven Stamkos’ quest for 500 goals continues, as he remains at 499 after several very close calls on Saturday in St. Louis. Would today be the milestone day?

Traveling Bolts Come Out Firing

Kraken goalie Martin Jones was just named the NHL’s first star of the week. But he would not get the start for Seattle today. Instead, Philipp Grubauer would take the net. In their previous meeting this season, Grubauer was pulled in the second period after giving up 4 goals on 20 shots. But he would redeem himself today. The Bolts were firing in the first period, dominating the shot clock by a total of 15-6 but the Kraken netminder would stop all but one. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare tipped in a point shot from Ian Cole for just his second goal of the season with just over a minute remaining in the period. Corey Perry drew the second assist, and the Bolts took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.

Red-Hot Kraken Fight Back

The second period had been the best period for the Kraken this season and they came out determined to keep that record intact today. They were buzzing throughout the first few minutes but Andrei Vasilevskiy had all the answers. As the period went on, the Lightning found their game and got their chances. But the period ended without a goal, as the Bolts continued to lead 1-0. The Lightning once again held their opponents to just six shots in that period, as they fired nine of their own.

Traveling Bolts Seal the Deal in the Third

The Kraken came out strong once again in the third and got rewarded with an early power play. They were not able to capitalize on that power play but were lucky not to get called for a penalty of their own. Alex Killorn was tripped up at the blue line and then Brandon Hagel was tripped going in for what would have been a short-handed breakaway. No calls, and the Kraken power play continued.

But then Nick Paul came through in the clutch as he stole the puck behind the Seattle net and put the puck past Grubauer to double the Lightning lead to 2-0. It was Paul’s 16th of the season, setting a new career high.

However, exactly four minutes later, the Kraken fought back, as Vince Dunn slapped a shot that bounced off Ian Cole and past Vasilevskiy.

The Bolts would hold onto this lead until the Kraken pulled Grubauer with around 2 minutes remaining. Bradon Hagel hit the empty net first at the 18:21 mark to make it 3-1.

Then, with around 45 seconds remaining in the game, and the Seattle net empty, Victor Hedman brought the puck into the zone. Stamkos came in on the wing. Would this be number 500? Alas, Hedman realized he could not get the pass across and took the shot himself, making it 4-1 and sealing the game.

The Bolts win their first two of this five-game road trip and their fourth straight, taming the Kraken monster and ending the Seattle eight-game win streak.

3 Stars

1- Nick Paul- game winning goal

2- Philipp Grubauer- came up big when the Kraken needed him

3- Andrei Vasilevskiy-  key saves to hold the Lightning lead

Up Next

The five-game road trip continues for the Bolts with a back-to-back starting Wednesday night at 10pm EST in Vancouver.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *