Kraken Win, Canucks Mired In 4-Game Winless Streak After 5-2 Loss


Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks shoots during the first period against the Seattle Kraken. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

April 4, 2023

VANCOUVER — Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist, and the Seattle Kraken padded their lead in the Western Conference wild card race with a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.

Five players scored, and Martin Jones made 16 saves for the Kraken (43-26-8), who were coming off an 8-1 win at home against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday and won consecutive games for the first time since a five-game run from Feb. 28 to March 7.

Seattle moved five points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the West.

“That’s a character win down the stretch here when there’s not many games left and two points mean that much more,” said Kraken forward Brandon Tanev, who scored a short-handed goal to tie it in the second period. “A lot of guys playing some tough minutes for us, especially on a back to back and everybody got going, and it’s a huge two points for our group.”

Elias Pettersson and Anthony Beauvillier scored, and Collin Delia made 23 saves for the Canucks (34-36-7), who have lost four in a row (0-2-2).

“Our last three or four games, we haven’t played a good 60 minutes of hockey the way we’ve been playing the previous 10 or 12 games,” Pettersson said, “It just feels disconnected. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve got to be better, everyone’s got to be better. We’ve just got to demand more of ourselves.” 

Seattle scored five consecutive goals after falling behind 2-0 in the first period.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Kraken forward Yanni Gourde said of falling behind. “Sixty-minute game. You play the right way, eventually things are going to turn. I didn’t think we had a very good start, but we weren’t that bad either, and then when we started playing a little bit faster on the forecheck, recovering pucks, those little plays, we look better and we look faster. And we’re a talented team and we can score.” 

Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks scores a goal on Martin Jones #30 of the Seattle Kraken during the first period of their NHL game at Rogers Arena. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Pettersson put Vancouver ahead 1-0 at 4:31 of the first period after being pushed into the crease, reaching back with the toe of his stick to pull a loose puck behind his back and sliding it into the empty side of the net behind Jones.

Beauvillier made it 2-0 at 13:09 after Conor Garland faked a slap shot and passed across to Beauvillier, who scored into an open net.

Anthony Beauvillier #72 of the Vancouver Canucks scores a goal on Martin Jones #30 of the Seattle Kraken during the first period at Rogers Arena. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

Gourde cut it to 2-1 at 16:58 with a shot from the top of the left face-off circle between the legs of Nils Aman and under Delia’s blocker.

“We got more composure in our game,” Gourde said. “We know what we can achieve, that if we trust the process, the outcome is going to be there for us.”

Vancouver had a chance to extend the lead on a 55-second, 5-on-3 power play in the second period but didn’t record a shot before Vince Dunn skated out of the box and into a breakaway that Delia stopped. 

Tanev then tied it 2-2 at 5:07 on a short-handed 2-on-1, keeping the puck and scoring with a high-blocker wrist shot from inside the left face-off dot. 

“You’re out there to do a job and block shots and get the kill, and when you have those opportunities to get a short-handed goal like that, you want to bear down and put it away,” Tanev said. 

Eberle put Seattle ahead 3-2 at 10:40 with a shot over Delia’s left shoulder from inside the bottom of the right circle. Jaden Schwartz then made it 4-2 at 16:14, tipping in an Eberle shot on the power play.

“The 5-on-3 kill, we get it done, and then end up finding a shorty to tie the game up,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Really kind of energized the bench.”

The Canucks finished 0-for-5 on the power play. 

“At the end of the first, we kind of just let up the play, let them take over,” Pettersson said. “The power play wasn’t good again. We’ve got to, first off, bury off the chances we create, but just be more disciplined or just work harder.” 

Rookie Matty Beniers, who hustled back to break up a J.T. Miller short-handed breakaway late in the second period, scored his 22nd goal of the season into an empty net from his own end with one minute left for the 5-2 final.

“His 200-hundred-foot play is exceptional for such a young guy,” Eberle said. “I know he wants to be a 200-foot player and that’s not things you hear really too much from a 20-year-old centerman, so he’s wise beyond his years.”

NOTES: Seattle has scored a power-play goal in four straight games and is 5-for-15 with the man-advantage in that time after going 1-for-18 over the previous seven games. … With 94 points, the Kraken passed the 2018-19 Vegas Golden Knights (93 points) for most points by an expansion team in its second season since the Original Six era (1967-68). … Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko had an assist to become the third player in the past 15 years to reach 70 points (37 goals, 33 assists) in his debut season. Artemi Panarin (77 points in 2015-16) and Patrick Kane (72 in 2007-08) are the others.


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