Bjorkstrand's OT goal gives Kraken 5-4 win over Red Wings
DETROIT (AP) — Oliver Bjorkstrand scored on a power play with 1:27 left in overtime, lifting the Seattle Kraken to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
It was the second goal of the night for Bjorkstrand. Jared McCann also had two goals for the Kraken, scoring twice in the opening 12 minutes and giving him a career-high 29 goals. Jaden Schwartz also scored for Seattle.
The Red Wings, seemingly conceding they won't make the playoffs for the first time since 2016, dealt a pair of key players in the two days leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Friday.
The Kraken, in their second NHL season, are on pace to make its first postseason appearance as a Western Conference wild card or as one of the top three teams in the Pacific Division.
Martin Jones gave up three goals on 12 shots and was benched late in the second period and replaced by Philipp Grubauer, who finished regulation with 16 saves.
Detroit's Ville Husso made 31 saves through three periods, including one with 7:20 left in regulation after Bjorkstrand's shot went off and over the goaltender and bounced around the crease before he smothered it to keep the game tied.
The Red Wings rallied recently to get into contention for an Eastern Conference wild card, but a three-game losing streak over the last week led to general manager Steve Yzerman deciding to trade players for picks instead of possibly adding help to make an aggressive push to end a seven-year playoff drought.
Detroit dealt forward Tyler Bertuzzi to Boston for first- and fourth-round picks on Thursday, a day after dealing defenseman Filip Hronek to Vancouver for first- and second-round picks.
While signaling that rebuild is very much still in progress, the team signed captain Dylan Larkin to an eight-year contract worth nearly $70 million and signed defenseman Jake Walman to a three-year, $10.2 million this week.
Walman's sixth goal of the season pulled the Red Wings into a 4-all tie with 5:12 left in the second period..
Detroit recalled physical forward Adam Erne from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins earlier in the day and he tried to provide an immediate jolt of energy for his disheartened teammates, getting in a fight with Yanni Goude a minute into the game.
McCann, though, scored his first of two goals 12 seconds later to extend his points streak to four games. His second goal gave the Kraken a 3-1 lead midway through the opening period.
Ben Chiarot and Erne also scored for the Red Wings.
Kraken: Play at Columbus on Friday.
Red Wings: Visit the New York Islanders on Saturday.
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Larry Lage, The Associated Press