3 Takeaways From Kraken’s 3-1 Win Over Penguins – 10/29/22

The Seattle Kraken shook off their loss to the Vancouver Canucks, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in an entertaining matchup. The Penguins, losers of three straight coming in, drop a fourth consecutive contest and fall to 4-4-1. The Kraken have climbed back up to .500, improving to a 4-4-2 record.

Seattle Kraken Takeaways
Seattle Kraken Takeaways (The Hockey Writers)

Getting past the frustration of their loss to the Canucks, the Kraken did well to match up with the ever-dangerous Penguins. It was a very entertaining game from puck drop to the final horn, showcasing great saves, dominant performances, and two disallowed goals in a span of five minutes. Looking to carry the momentum forward, the Kraken can use this game as a stepping stone toward consistency. Here are some takeaways from their win over the Penguins.

Kraken Weather the Storm in the First

Following a dismal trip through western Canada, the Penguins were bound to come out flying in the first period. This proved to be correct, as they began the game by outshooting the Kraken 6-1 in the first half of the period.

After that initial burst, the Kraken wound up clawing back and even finished the period outshooting the Penguins 12-9. Given their miserable week and tendency to start quickly, holding the Penguins off and finishing the period without allowing a goal was a fairly good outcome.

Martin Jones was rock solid, saving those nine shots that the Penguins sent his way. What’s impressive about that is how many came from in tight, challenging him directly. Several of the shots involved a Penguins player finding open space and having an unblocked chance to fire away.

Seattle Kraken, Pittsburgh Penguins Shot Chart
First Period Shot Chart from PIT @ SEA on 10/29/22 (Courtesy Evolving Hockey)

The shot chart from the first period shows the several chances that came from in and around the slot. Several were difficult shots, although the Kraken managed to keep players out of the way to avoid creating netfront havoc.

Jones standing tall is incredibly important, as going down early against a good opponent is always difficult to manage. You can’t win a game in the first period, but you can certainly lose one.

Second Period Dominance and Resilience

Finishing the first period strong, the Kraken came out flying in the second. That being said, they also surrendered the first goal of the game. After a brutal giveaway by Jamie Oleksiak at the offensive blue line, Jake Guentzel was sent in on a breakaway where he snuck one through Jones. This was Guentzel’s first game since October 20th after being sidelined with an injury. Being one of the most reliable goal-scorers on the Penguins, it wasn’t overly shocking to see him open the scoring.

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It sucks to give up the opening goal, but I noticed an impressive response almost immediately after the puck dropped following the goal. After multiple goals were disallowed thanks to Penguins‘ head coach Mike Sullivan and his successful challenges, Jordan Eberle tied things up.

The resiliency after giving up the first goal was noticeable and minimized the time that the Kraken were trailing. Eberle’s tying goal came just 1:15 after the Penguins went up, which is a trend for this Kraken team.

It takes a great deal of motivation and teamwork to avoid getting down after giving up the opening goal. Not only did the Kraken remain energized, but they also dominated the remainder of the period. Morgan Geekie added his second of the year late in the period after nearly 10 minutes on the attack.

Morgan Geekie, Seattle Kraken
Morgan Geekie, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Per Natural Stat Trick, the Kraken controlled 58.97% of the shot attempts (Corsi) at 5-on-5 and held the Penguins to only seven shots on 16 attempts (also recorded at 5v5).

Bounce Back for Jones

While the start to his Kraken tenure has been rocky, Jones recovered well after a very poor performance against the Canucks on Oct. 27. Stopping 30 of 31 shots, he was a major part of keeping his team ahead in the third period.

The Penguins dominated the third period, outshooting the Kraken 16-7. Further to that, they also had a 71.43% Corsi at 5-on-5, leading the shot attempts 20-8.

Jones was having one of those games where he just seemed to be moving a little bit smoother than usual. He was regularly able to stop difficult shots when moving post-to-post, which has been a struggle for him early in the season. Perhaps he’s using that “Dad Strength,” as he and his wife Alex welcomed a baby boy last night. Congratulations to both of them.

Whatever the reason behind his standout performance, he was a big part of why the Kraken won last night. Because he faced so many quality chances, Jones finished the game with a goals saved above expected (GSAX) of 2.41 (MoneyPuck). It’s easy to point out the shortcomings of the goalie tandem, but to give credit where credit is due, I thought Jones was spectacular last night.

Seattle Shoutouts

In addition to the Jones family’s new addition, the Eberle family welcomed a baby boy as well last night. He mentioned pregame that he would love to score one for his newborn son, and he followed through on that. Scoring a beautiful tap-in goal on some great passing from Jaden Schwartz and Matty Beniers, he was responsible for the Kraken’s first goal of the night.

Related: Kraken’s Schwartz Living up to Expectations in 2nd Season

Jordan Eberle Seattle Kraken
Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Someone else who deserves a shoutout is the birthday boy, Vince Dunn. Celebrating his 26th birthday, Dunn recorded an assist and had a fantastic game all around. Playing 23:39, Dunn was lights out for the Kraken throughout most of the game. Using a strong transition game, he did well to get the puck out of the defensive zone. His moving the puck to the forwards quickly also led to him having an on-ice Corsi of 60% at 5v5, with the Kraken out attempting the Penguins 27-18 (Natural Stat Trick).

Looking to Extinguish the Flames

The Kraken head north to Alberta to play the Calgary Flames on Nov. 1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Flames, fresh off losing to the rival Edmonton Oilers, will look to get back on the right track. It will be a tough test for the Kraken as the Flames remain among the most dangerous teams in the western conference. That being said, a good goaltending performance and a solid team effort like they displayed against the Penguins can go a long way, and they hope to replicate that.

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