The Kraken Won Their First Game Ever In Nashville

I got home a little late, so I missed the beginning of this one; I walked into the house and it was already 1-0 Nashville, where it looked like they got a goal on a quick little flukey play off a face-off in front of the goalie. Just like Tuesday, all the deficit meant was that it was time for the Kraken to go to work.

We took advantage of both first period power plays to go up 2-1 after one frame. Jared McCann scored the first-ever power play goal in Kraken history less than a minute into it. This followed a massive hit by Vince Dunn on one of the Predators, who then engaged Dunn in a fight. Both were sent out for fighting, and the power play was tacked onto their guy for roughing. Outstanding!

Almost immediately after tying the game, the Kraken took advantage in the Nashville zone, forcing them to trip our guy approximately 12 seconds later. That led to a nifty little goal by Brandon Tanev, who was in the right place as the puck bounced straight to him with the goalie not looking.

Early in the second period, there was a foul on a Kraken player; we had a chance to see if we could keep our streak alive of stopping opposing power plays. However, 84 seconds into it, we got dinged by a second penalty and couldn’t prevent the goal with a 2-man disadvantage. The game was tied and there was still a lot of time left in the second power play session, but we managed to stop the bleeding there.

A few minutes later, we were able to score the go-ahead goal by Alex Wennberg to maintain our 3-2 lead heading into the final frame.

That last period was intense! It really looked like the focus shifted to an extreme defensive mindset by the Kraken: hunker down, flood the area in front of the goalie, and don’t let them get behind you or be in position to get anything cheap. Philipp Grubauer was amazing in that third period! I don’t know how many shots he took in that frame, but in the game he saw 30 and it felt like the vast majority came in the third. The Predators had the puck in our defensive zone for damn near the entire 20 minutes. They had a few really excellent chances, but Grubauer blocked them all.

Then, with about two minutes left, desperate to tie the game, the Predators pulled their goalie. In the fracas, we managed to get the puck away and Tanev scored his second goal of the game, with an empty net. The Predators – finally – managed to score with about 40 seconds left in the game to make it 4-3, but we held on to close out the victory.

Did the Predators pull their goalie too early? My dad seemed to think so, and felt vindicated when he saw them score eventually. But, I didn’t mind the aggression. They’d just spent around 18 minutes in our zone trying in vain to score 5 on 5. This was the defense I’d been led to believe we’d be seeing all year long; it was really stifling when we needed it most!

Either way, it was fun to see the Kraken get their first-ever victory. I’m starting to narrow down my list of players whose jersey (sweater?) I wouldn’t mind getting. I won’t get one right away – to see what the vast majority of people end up with – but I’m definitely getting one at some point!

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