Kraken cool off Flames with 4-2 road win

CALGARY — Jared McCann set up the go-ahead goal and then added a short-handed one for insurance to lead the Seattle Kraken to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Yanni Gourde, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Adam Larsson also scored for Seattle (27-23-11), which improves to 6-2-1 in its last nine.

The Kraken pulled even with the Flames in the Western Conference playoff chase, seven points back of idle Nashville for the second wild-card spot.

Andrei Kuzmenko scored both goals for Calgary (30-26-5), which had its five-game winning streak snapped.

Kuzmenko has 13 goals on the season and five in 10 games since being acquired from Vancouver on Jan. 31 as part of the trade that sent Elias Lindholm to the Canucks.

Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves for the win and improved to 10-10-1.

After going more than two months between starts, missing a bulk of that due to a lower-body injury, Grubauer has been excellent since his return to the crease on Feb. 13, going 5-1-0 with a .943 save percentage.

Jacob Markstrom had 26 stops for the Flames as his four-game winning streak ended. He falls to 21-16-2.

With Seattle up 3-1 after Larsson's goal 21 seconds into the third period, Calgary cut the deficit in half on Kuzmenko's second of the night at 7:46.

The Flames then got consecutive power plays in an attempt to pull even. However, after failing to score on the first, it was the Kraken that scored on the second.

Rasmus Andersson had the puck stripped off him by McCann at the blue line and he raced in on Markstrom, burying his team-leading 26th goal at 12:29.

At 13:41 of the third, Calgary rookie Martin Pospisil was given a major and a game misconduct for drilling Seattle defenceman Vince Dunn into the end boards from behind. Visibly shaken up but leaving the ice on his own, Dunn went to the dressing room and didn't return.

After a listless first period in which Calgary fell behind 1-0, the Flames were better in the second period, tying it at 7:50 on a crafty effort from Kuzmenko on the power play.

The 28-year-old Russian faked going behind the net, prompting Grubauer to look over his other shoulder, only to cut back and jam it inside the near post.

It was also Kuzmenko's 100th career NHL point.

The visitors reclaimed the lead less than five minutes later when poor defensive coverage by Oliver Kylington left Bjorkstrand open in the slot and he one-timed McCann's centring pass behind Markstrom.

Bjorkstrand's third goal in the last four games gives him 16 on the season.

Seattle was the better team by a wide margin in the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the home side 11-2 and scoring the only goal.

At 4:04, Dunn's point shot hit a couple of players in front where it was corralled by Gourde and whipped behind Markstrom for his eighth goal.


Seattle C Alex Wennberg did not play, nor take the morning skate with the team, for what coach Dave Hakstol said earlier in the day was “trade-related issues.” A pending UFA at season's end, the 29-year-old Swede has nine goals and 25 points and before Monday had played in all 60 games.


Flames LW rookie Connor Zary (upper body) did not play after leaving Saturday's game early. Zary has 12 goals and 29 points through 50 games and is tied with Ottawa's Ridly Greig for highest plus-minus for rookies at plus-17.


Flames: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Kraken: Visit the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2024.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press