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Kraken’s Philipp Grubauer blanks Penguins for first shutout

Feb 29, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jesse Puljujarvi (18) and Seattle Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (24) battle for the puck during the first period at Climate Pledge Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

Philipp Grubauer made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Seattle Kraken defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 Thursday night in a matchup of teams chasing wild-card playoff berths in their respective conferences.

Alex Wennberg had a goal and an assist and Oliver Bjorkstrand also tallied for the Kraken, who improved to 5-1-1 in their past seven games.

Grubauer won for the fourth time in as many starts since returning Feb. 13 after being out for more than two months with a lower-body injury. He was making back-to-back starts for the first time since Dec. 7-9, the latter date when he was hurt.

Tristan Jarry stopped 26 shots for the Penguins, who had a three-game winning streak and a four-game point streak (3-0-1) snapped. They’ll wrap up a four-game Western swing with games Saturday at Calgary and Sunday at Edmonton.

The Kraken led 1-0 after the first period despite being outshot 18-7.

Bjorkstrand opened the scoring at 12:25 after Will Borgen’s rising shot from the right point hit Wennberg in the upper back and deflected high into the air. Bjorkstrand tracked the puck and, just before it reached the ice, volleyed it between Jarry’s pads from just outside the top left edge of the crease.

It remained 1-0 until Wennberg scored on the power play at 15:02 of the third. Jarry made an initial save on Kailer Yamamoto’s shot on a mad scramble in front of the net, but Wennberg kicked the rebound to his stick at the top left of the crease and lifted the puck just over the goalie’s reach.

The Kraken avenged a 3-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Jan. 15.

Seattle’s Dave Hakstol coached his 500th NHL game.

The Kraken played without forward Andre Burakovsky, who suffered an undisclosed injury in overtime of Monday’s 4-3 shootout win against Boston.

The Penguins remained without forwards Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust due to upper-body injuries.

–Field Level Media

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