It’s often said that even an average NHL goaltender can make a save when he sees the puck.
But what about when a goalie happens to be a former Vezina Trophy winner, a three-time Stanley Cup champion and a likely first-ballot Hall of Famer?
Well, good luck to the opposition.
The Seattle Kraken learned that Friday night in a 1-0 defeat to Marc-Andre Fleury and the Minnesota Wild in which the Kraken’s five-game winning streak was snapped.
The Kraken will look to return to their winning ways when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.
Seattle also will try to get more traffic in front of the Jets’ net after failing to do so Friday against the Wild.
“I think we’ve got to find more shots on the inside,” Kraken forward Yanni Gourde said. “There was definitely a lot of outside play. Even the shots we were taking, we needed to find rebounds. We’ve got to be net-front. If that goalie sees the puck, most likely he’s going to make the save. So we’ve got to do a better job of making his game a little bit harder.”
The Kraken went 0-for-4 on the power play, managing just two shots on net.
“The power play has been good all year,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s been timely. You’ve got to find a way to come up with the puck. You don’t have to win a draw clean, but we’ve got to find some 50-50s (puck battles) and keep those pucks in the zone.
“It was a pretty tight game, and you knew it was going to be that way. It’s that kind of night. You’ve got to find a dirty one, a greasy one somewhere, and we weren’t able to do that.”
Martin Jones made 20 saves for the Kraken, who had scored three or more goals in each of their previous 10 games.
The Jets will play the second half of a back-to-back on the road following a 3-2 loss Saturday at Calgary.
Neal Pionk had a goal and an assist and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Jets, who had won their previous three games and had points in seven straight (6-0-1). Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32 shots, but the Flames snapped a seven-game winless run (0-5-2).
“Not our worst game, but we were facing a desperate club,” Pionk said. “We have to match their intensity no matter what the situation is.”
The Jets, who went 4-for-10 with the man advantage during their three-game run, were 0-for-3 Saturday and allowed a short-handed goal by the Flames’ Trevor Lews that ended up being the winner.
“That’s not the momentum you’re trying to get,” Jets associate coach Scott Arniel said. “Doesn’t always have to be goals, but it has to be kind of wearing-down-the opposition penalty killers and creating opportunities. Give Calgary credit. They’re extremely aggressive, and they did a good job.”
Dubois extended his goal streak to four games, but that was lost in the defeat.
“We had a good streak going, not just points-wise, but playing well too and playing the right way,” he said. “(Saturday), at times we played well, and at other times, we were trying to force it a bit too much.”
–Field Level Media