Recap: Panthers can’t crack Kraken, fall 5-3 in Seattle

Cats get swept by struggling expansion team

The Florida Panthers road issues continued as the first place team was beaten 5-3 by the expansion Seattle Kraken in its first visit to Climate Pledge Arena.

Florida took a 1-0 in the first period when Anthony Duclair notched his 18th goal of the season from Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad with a quick shot from the top of the right circle that Philipp Grubauer stopped, but rebounded in off of defenseman Carson Soucy.

Seattle would run off three-straight scores in the second period to open up a two-goal lead.

Marcus Johansson tied the game with a one-timer off the rush at 5:02 with the assists going to Mark Giordano and former Panther Jared McCann.

After playing catch with defenseman Adam Larsson, Yanni Gourde spanked another one-time past Sergei Bobrovsky five minutes later to give the Kraken the lead. The secondary assist on Gourde’s ninth went to Ryan Donato.

It only took Seattle seventeen seconds to get another. This time, Colin Blackwell knocked a rebound in with his helmet after Mason Appleton threw the puck in front after tracking down the rebound of a missed shot by another former Cat, Riley Sheahan.

The Panthers would stop the bleeding with a power-play goal 2:13 later when Jonathan Huberdeau took a return pass from Ekblad and beat Grubauer with a wrist shot from long range. Aleksander Barkov was credited with the secondary assist.

Huberdeau would streak down the right side find Barkov with a cross and the captain would put the puck in off a Seattle defenseman to knot the score at the 14:07 mark.

Appleton would get open to finish off a pass from yet another former Panther, Alex Wennberg 26 seconds into third, second assist to Vince Dunn, to give the upstart Kraken the lead back.

The Cats would outshoot Seattle 12-6 in the third, but they couldn’t solve Grubauer a fourth time to equalize and Calle Jarnkrok would come up with the clincher unassisted into an empty net with 19 seconds left on the clock. Grubauer made a huge stop on Duclair with 1:40 left and Bobrovsky off for an extra attacker.

Not a good way to start the second half of the schedule. Florida has only lost nine times in regulation this season and two of them have come at the hands of the NHL newest team. After posting back to back wins over Edmonton and Vancouver, the Cats were in prime position to make this a big trip road. Now they will need a victory in Winnipeg on Tuesday to come home with a winning record.

Tentacles & Suckers

  • With a goal and two helpers, Jonathan Huberdeau finds himself in a three-way tie with Alex Ovechkin and Leon Draisaitl for the NHL scoring lead with 58 points. It was Huberdeau’s seventh three-point game of the season.
  • The tallies seventeen seconds apart from Yanni Gourde and Colin Blackwell were the fastest two goals in the brief history of the Kraken.
  • Philipp Grubauer registered 28 saves and won his third straight start while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 of 28 shots faced.
  • The Kraken were able to hold the Sams, Bennett and Reinhart without a shot on goal. Eetu Luostarinen and Owen Tippett also failed to put the puck on net.
  • MacKenzie Weegar finished the game with a shot, three hits and -4 rating in 27:27 of ice time. Rookie Matt Kiersted went +1 and blocked a game-high six shots in just 11:21 TOI.
  • For more on Seattle’s inexplicable season-series sweep over the Cats, sail on over to Davy Jones Locker Room./

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