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Penguins in search of complete effort vs. Kraken

Sportsnaut
Oct 28, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Pittsburgh Penguins forward Rickard Rakell (67) celebrates his goal  against the Vancouver Canucks in the second period at Rogers Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

So far, the western portion of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ road trip has been a disaster.

The Penguins dropped three-goal decisions on back-to-back nights in Edmonton and Calgary before suffering a 5-1 defeat Friday night in Vancouver.

Pittsburgh will look to salvage something from the swing on Saturday night against the host Seattle Kraken.

“It’s not good enough,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I just don’t think we’re putting a 60-minute effort together. It’s hard to win in this league when you don’t.”

Rickard Rakell scored the lone goal Friday for Pittsburgh, and goaltender Tristan Jarry made 24 saves.

Penguins superstar captain Sidney Crosby logged 23:24 of ice time as the Penguins tried to get back into the game.

“A lot of that is circumstantial. We were chasing the game. So when you’re chasing the game like that, you’re leaning on your offensive players a little bit more than you’d like,” Sullivan said. “That was the circumstance (Friday). We were trying to get back in the hockey game, and the best way to do that is to put your best players on the ice.”

Sullivan acknowledged he’s concerned the Penguins have struggled after their 4-0-1 start.

“It’s important that we continue to try to get better every day, every game,” Sullivan said. “It’s our job to figure out how to fix it. That’s what we’ve got to do. …

“We’ve got an experienced group. These guys have been through ups and downs in this league. They understand what it takes. And so, we need everybody to take ownership for their own game. We’ve got to put our best effort (Saturday) in Seattle.”

The Kraken enter the game in the same circumstance, having lost 5-4 Thursday to visiting Vancouver.

The Kraken allowed two power-play goals and were lacking luck, as Vancouver scored twice more after the puck deflected off Seattle defensemen.

“We were the better team for most of the night, but they beat us on specialty teams by one and that was ultimately the difference in the hockey game,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “You’re not going to be able to carry momentum all night, but we carried momentum for a lot of the night. Didn’t give up a whole lot of zone time. Didn’t give up a whole lot defensively.”

Jamie Oleksiak, Jared McCann, Matty Beniers and Jaden Schwartz scored for Seattle, the latter on a power play with 30 seconds left. McCann has scored a goal in four consecutive games, the rookie Beniers in three straight and defenseman Oleksiak in two in a row.

“Sometimes you have a hot goalie,and he played pretty well,” Beniers said of Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko, who made 32 saves. “You know, it just happens that way. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.”

Jordan Eberle had two assists, reaching 600 career points on Beniers’ goal that made the score 3-3 in the second period.

“We had our chances,” Eberle said. “We obviously didn’t capitalize on the power play when we needed to.”

–Field Level Media