Larsson leads Kraken to first OT win, 2-1 over Penguins
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Seattle Kraken picked up a rare road win — and made team history along the way.
Adam Larsson scored 1:17 in the extra period to give the Kraken their first overtime victory, 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
“For us, it’s an enjoyable win, but one that we worked for,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Our game didn’t change a whole lot from the drop of the puck all the way through the winning goal in overtime.”
With the Kraken trailing 1-0, Jared McCann scored with 3:56 left in regulation against his former team to force overtime.
Larsson, who scored in consecutive games for the first time in his career, then won it in the extra period to give Seattle its fourth win in six games following a nine-game losing streak.
Seattle picked up just its fifth road win of the season, improving to 5-11-2 away from him. The Kraken’s last road win came on Dec. 14 at San Jose, as they dropped their previous four games away from home.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 shots while helping the Kraken snap the Penguins’ six-game winning streak.
“Great job by everybody,” Grubauer said. “I don’t think they had too many crazy chances. We were playing really tight and didn’t give them a lot of room to make plays. Once we gave up that goal, we were right back at it.”
Evgeni Malkin scored his fourth of the season, a power-play goal at 8:41 of the third, but the Penguins had their season-best eight-game home winning streak end. Tristan Jarry made 27 saves for Pittsburgh, which has still won 17 of its last 20 games overall.
“In the third period, we beat ourselves,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We turned into a high-risk hockey team. It’s hard to win consistently when you play a high-risk game.”
McCann tied it at 16:04 of the third when he deflected Vince Dunn’s point shot behind Jarry. McCann played parts of three seasons with Pittsburgh, scoring 39 goals and 84 points in 141 regular-season games. Pittsburgh traded McCann to Toronto during the 2021 offseason and he was eventually selected by Seattle in the expansion draft. McCann, who leads the Kraken in points, is two goals shy of matching his career high.
“I’m very thankful for this organization giving me a chance to play,” McCann said. “They brought my career back to life.”
Neither team scored a goal in the first two periods as Pittsburgh held a 20-9 advantage in shots. That included an 11-2 edge in the second period as Seattle went 16:57 without a shot through the end of the first and the beginning of the second.
Grubauer made a sliding pad save on Jeff Carter during a 2-on-1 with Evan Rodrigues. Later in the period, Pittsburgh pressured with a 91-second even-strength shift in the Seattle zone that resembled a power play, but the Penguins couldn’t capitalize.
The Kraken poured it on the rest of the way, outshooting Pittsburgh 18-4 in the third period and 2-0 in the overtime.
“One of the things I liked the most was we pushed a little bit in the third period, even at 0-0, without any risk to our game,” Hakstol said. “That’s a good characteristic for our team.”
EXPANSION SUCCESS IN PITTSBURGH
Seattle became the fifth expansion team in league history to win its first game in Pittsburgh, joining Los Angeles, St. Louis, Buffalo and Edmonton. Expansion teams are 5-13-9 all-time in their first road games against Pittsburgh.
“It’s a good win in this building,” Hakstol said. “It’s a hard place to win.”
Larsson tallied a point in three straight games for the first time since February 2015 and equaled his career high for goals in a season.
Malkin missed the first 34 games of the season because of offseason knee surgery, but has four goals and 10 points in nine games. He has two goals and seven points during a six-game point streak.
PENS POWER PLAY
Pittsburgh has power-play goals in five of its last six games. The Penguins have converted in 10 of their last 12 overall with the man advantage.
Three other Kraken skaters besides McCann — Riley Sheahan, Jamie Oleksiak and Brandon Tanev — and two Seattle executives — Ron Francis and Jason Botterill — also have ties to the Penguins.
Sheahan played 122 regular-season games with the Penguins, totaling 18 goals and 41 points. Tanev, who missed his 12th game with a torn ACL, was selected from Pittsburgh in the expansion draft, while Oleksiak had 25 points in 83 regular-season games.
Francis won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins during the 1991-92 seasons, while Botterill was part of the franchise’s three most recent championships (2009, 2016-17) in a front office role.
Kraken: Continue a four-game road trip Saturday at the New York Islanders.
Penguins: Continue a six-game homestand Friday against Detroit.