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Kraken Atop The Pacific

January 20, 2023, 10:15 PM ET [35 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Seattle Kraken Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The only way anyone thought they would see the Kraken at the top of the Pacific Division would be if they played in the first game of the season before any other teams and won. Here we are, over halfway through the season, and the Seattle Kraken are in first in the Pacific Division, tied with the Golden Knights but Seattle with a game in hand. They were able to get in this spot by winning against a very good team in the New Jersey Devils. Fun times.

Things were looking good early as Ryan Donato was making the most of his top six minutes. The first goal was scored by Borgen making a great off the wall pass to Donato. Donato fired an absolute laser past Blackwood to get the team on the board. It is that type of quick transitional game that is why the Kraken have been so successful. Borgen made no hesitation on that pass and while the Devils were starting to regroup, Donato and Wennberg were already pressing into the offensive end.

Donato would prove later in the first that his snipe was no fluke. Again, the play starts in the Kraken's end but a quick pass up the boards leads to McCann giving it to Donato who end up on a 2 on 1 against Dougie Hamilton. Donato once again elects to shoot and suddenly the Kraken are up 2-0.

The Devils would press hard in the second though and eventually break through. Beniers was tripped, though no call was made which led to Severson streaking in, firing a wrister past Jones. It was a well placed shot that just beat Jones clean. Certainly one that you hope your goalie can save.

After this the Kraken went on the powerplay but failed to keep the puck in deep. Dawson Mercer received the puck and managed to walk right through Vince Dunn and tie the game on a shorthanded goal. There just seemed to be a lack of urgency from Dunn on this play and failed to recognize Mercer was going to be able to take the puck right to the net.

Tanev would put his team back in the lead. The Devils would come onto Gourde in numbers behind the net but the centre was able to get the pass over to Donato who made no hesitation firing it a streaking Tanev who was not picked up by anyone. He wouldn't miss as the Kraken went up 3-2.

The Devils would pull their goalie in the final couple minutes and the Kraken did a decent job at suppressing them but Jones would make another error. Hughes fired the shot on net and Jones was not able to cover up faster than Hischier was able to pick it up and fire it over his left shoulder. The Devils would force OT.

It was the depth players who scored for Seattle throughout the game but the top guys sealed the deal in OT. Dunn was excellent on puck retrieval, fighting through some sticks (and another trip) to keep the puck and get it back to Burakovsky. Burakovsky had all the time in the world as he waited, circled and finally fired a shot that was able to trickle through the pads of Blackwood for the win.

Martin Jones finished the night with a 0.900SV%, and was good enough to keep the team in it as they were simply able to score one more goal than their opponent.

Seattle is the surprise of the NHL this season and this is a proud moment for the new fanbase to rally behind this team. I'm enjoying seeing more discussion in the comments section and encourage more people to let me know their thoughts. Thanks for reading!
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