Nashville Predators 4, Seattle Kraken 2: Preds Prevail Despite Penalties

Roman Josi had two points in the win, while Juuse Saros once again stopped a lot of rubber.

The Nashville Predators went back on the road tonight, taking on the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. The game started off slowly, but then the penalties began.

Cole Smith drew a hooking penalty, but the Preds were unable to convert with Vince Dunn in the penalty box. Next it was the Preds’ turn, as Mattias Ekholm took a holding penalty and then, three seconds into the penalty kill, Matt Benning was called for a trip. Jared McCann scored for the Kraken after a barrage of chances on the 5v3, but were unable to do much with the remaining 5v4.

Less than a minute after that penalty expired, and still just over halfway through the period, Ryan Johansen headed to the sin bin as well. The Kraken did absolutely nothing with that power play, but attacked with a vengeance once Johansen returned to the ice.

The Preds hung on and began to get some reward for their effort, first getting the puck back out of their defensive zone, then when Alexandre Carrier drew a tripping penalty and the Preds got another power play of their own. While the power play didn’t manage to accomplish much, on the next shift Luke Kunin scored to put the Preds on the board and tie the game 1-1 with just 21 seconds left in the period.

At the same time, Vince Dunn and Nick Cousins exchanged hostilities and were each called for a minor penalty—elbowing for Dunn, unsportsmanlike conduct for Cousins—as the game went to 4v4 to close that period and open the next. The teams traded possession as well as chances, but neither was able to score either during the 4v4 or once teams returned to 5v5.

The first penalty of the second period came as Mark Giordano tripped Mikael Granlund as Granlund broke in on the net. Seattle’s penalty kill once again stepped up to the job, keeping the Preds’ offense to the outside and unable to convert. With the penalty killed, the Kraken went back on the attack. Although the Preds pushed back, the next goal was scored by Adam Larsson off a setup from Yanni Gourde.

The Kraken seemed invigorated by their goal, but less than three minutes later Filip Forsberg tied the game again with some Filip Forsberg magic. A minute and sixteen seconds after that, the Preds did take the lead, as Mattias Ekholm made up for his earlier penalty by scoring a goal.

The third period opened well for the Preds, but they were unable to capitalize on their early chances. Halfway through, they were unable to keep up their good record of not going to the penalty box, as they were called for too many men on the ice. However, the Preds were able to kill the penalty and then get the clear.

Juuse Saros was called on to make several more impressive saves as the Kraken continued to press, trying to even the score. Then the Kraken took a too-many-men penalty of their own. While they got a great 2-on-1 chance shorthanded, and the Preds seemed hesitant to shoot, Matt Duchene picked a shot carefully and scored a power-play goal to make it 4-2 Preds with 4:09 remaining in the period.

The Kraken pulled goalie Philipp Grubauer shortly after, but were unable to make up the deficit. While they started aggressively, as the 6v5 continued they started looking for the perfect shot. With under ten seconds of game time left, the Preds iced the puck twice (going for the empty net both times), but Johansen handled both faceoffs calmly and the Preds hung on for the win.