Ryan Donat scored the tying goal early in the third period, Donskoi scored the game-clinching goal in the shootout and the Kraken ended their nine-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Monday.
Donato scored at 2:02 of the third period to pull Seattle even at 2. Donato scored in the second round of the shootout and Donskoi – stuck without a regulation goal this season in 38 games – scored the past winner Marc-Andre Fleury.
“Sometimes during that streak it felt like no matter how hard we tried, we weren’t able to get any wins, and then the pressure started to build,” Donskoi said. “I think getting that win out now is a bit of a relief and I’m sure we’ll take energy from all of this going forward.”
It was Seattle’s first win since Dec. 14 at San Jose, the first home win since Dec. 3 against Edmonton and the first time this season to come back to win after trailing at the start of the third. period. The Kraken are 1-16-1 when trailing after two periods.
Seattle Guardian Philippe Grubauer made 25 saves. He was asked to make just six in the third period and overtime combined.
“We were really close in the last two games,” Grubauer said. “We didn’t have that rebound, where maybe today had that rebound.”
Fleury was the best player on the ice for most of the day and did everything he could to bring Chicago into the shootout. Fleury made 35 saves and 14 in the third period alone.
Fleury robbed Jared McCann with a superb glove save on a power play opportunity early in the third. Fleury then stopped McCann on the first regulation penalty shot in Kraken history after McCann tripped on a breakaway by Riley Stillman.
Alex Wennberg hit the post in the dying seconds of overtime for Seattle.
“It’s unbelievable sometimes. In fact, today I was just sitting on the bench watching the replay like, ‘What’s he doing over there?'” said Dominic Kubalik of Chicago on Fleury “It’s amazing. I’m not saying I expect it to happen but somehow…he was amazing. He gave us the point.”
The two goals allowed by Fleury were partly the result of his defensemen. Vince Dunn’s second-period goal was deflected by Stillman. Donato’s equalizer early in the third period came when Fleury made the first save but was pulled out by Caleb Jones, allowing Donato to score on the rebound.
“I thought I’d pass straight away, but you only have so many chances in a game where you’re clear and you have tons of time and space to get a good shot,” Donato said. .
Kubalik scored his ninth of the season on a breakaway 12:06 into the second period to give Chicago the lead. Donato lost the puck in the Chicago zone, and Erik Gustafsson was able to find Kubalik open with a long pass behind the Seattle defense.
Chicago took advantage of a power play later in the second. Patrick Kane’s slap pass was deflected by Kubalik and Grubauer made the initial save. But the puck fell on Brandon Hagel in the scramble with an open net.
Seattle avoided becoming the fourth expansion team since 1991 with a losing streak of at least 10 games. San Jose lost 13 straight games in the 1991-92 season. Ottawa went on losing streaks of 11 games twice and 14 games in the 1992-93 season. And Atlanta had 10 and 12 game losing streaks in the 1999-2000 season.
Seattle claimed F Karson Kuhlman off waivers from Boston and placed F morgan geek in casualty reserve. Geekie has missed the previous three games with an upper body injury. Kuhlman has appeared in 19 games and has two points. …Chicago D Seth Jones tested COVID-19 protocol, but Blackhawks chose not to fly him to Seattle at last minute and play important minutes, interim coach Derek King noted. … Fleury was named the NHL’s second star of the week after going 3-0-0 with a .957 save percentage and one shutout last week.
Blackhawks: Chicago hosts Minnesota on Friday.
Kraken: Seattle hosts San Jose on Thursday.
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