The NHL’s newest team hit the ice for the first time in its history on Tuesday night and, while the Kraken didn’t skate away the winners, they still made some history.
In a battle of the league’s two newest franchises, the older kids — the Golden Knights — won 4-3. While Seattle came out with some jump and got an early chance by Jordan Eberle that rang off the pipe and a power-play opportunity, it was Vegas that cashed in early. The Golden Knights scored two goals in the opening seven minutes — one by Max Pacioretty and one by Jonathan Marchessault — before adding a third less than seven minutes into the middle frame.
But then, the Kraken were unleashed (sorry, not sorry).
Ryan Donato scored the first goal in franchise history from atop the paint. Then, 72 seconds later, it was Jared McCann with the marker. McCann was one of three players who were initially thought to be out of the game due to COVID protocols earlier in the day but were cleared before warmups. (Joonas Donskoi and Jamie Oleksiak, the latter of whom was credited with taking the first penalty in franchise history, were the other two).
MEET THE KRAKEN: Compete roster, opening games
Morgan Geekie tied it up in the third period with an absolute snipe from the right circle. However, the proverbial “new game” was short-lived as, 35 seconds later, Vegas’ Colin Stephenson redirected the puck in with his skate for the game-winner.
While the Kraken’s first game is also the Kraken’s first loss, the comeback showed that this is a team that shouldn’t be taken lightly. They entered the game without much pressure to do too much this season, despite what the Golden Knights did in their inaugural season in 2017-18, when the club won the Pacific Division and went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Sporting News had all the action as the Kraken got crackin’ and hit the ice for the first time in the regular season (all times Eastern).
Kraken vs. Golden Knights scores, highlights
Final: Golden Knights 4, Kraken 3
12:52 a.m. — Game over.
12:38 a.m. — Fleury with a chance and at the whistle Stone is called for tripping. It’s a 4-on-3, as there were coincidental minors to Larsson and Stephenson.
12:30 a.m. — GOAL … maybe. Off a turnover 35 seconds after Seattle tied it, Mark Stone feeds the puck over to Colin Stephenson who has the puck go off his skate. He angles his skate but does he kick? It is being reviewed and it is a good goal. Vegas leads 4-3.
12:26 a.m. — GOAL. And we’re all tied up. Morgan Geekie with an absolute snipe from the right circle. Tied 3-3.
12:18 a.m. — Kraken come close, but there was a quick whistle despite the puck being loose.
12:15 a.m. — Third period underway. Can the Kraken finish the comeback?
Second period: Golden Knights 3, Kraken 2
11:55 p.m. — Period comes to an end.
11:45 p.m. — GOAL. Here come the Kraken. Jared McCann with the centering pass, and it gets past Lehner (originally this was credited to Eberle). Seattle with two goals 72 seconds apart. Vegas leads 3-2.
11:40 p.m. — GOAL. RYAN DONATO HAS THE FIRST KRAKEN GOAL IN FRANCHISE HISTORY. The puck hits a body in front and bounces to Donato, who buries it with Lehner out of position. Vegas leads 3-1.
11:40 p.m. — Back to even strength.
11:36 p.m. — Zach Whitecloud gets two, and the Kraken head to the power play.
11:31 p.m. — GOAL. Another pass across to the high-man, this time defenseman Nicolas Hague, and he rips a wrist shot against the grain. Update: This has been credited to Pacioretty. Vegas leads 3-0.
11:29 p.m. — Vegas’ power-play woes continue into the 2021-22 season.
11:26 p.m. — Just 11 seconds after the Schwartz penalty expires, Seattle gets called for too many men.
11:22 p.m. — Jaden Schwartz called for tripping.
11:21 p.m. — Second period begins.
First period: Golden Knights 2, Kraken 0
11:05 p.m. — Kraken may be losing 2-0 but, per Natural Stat Trick, it wasn’t that bad in the first period. They have a Corsi For percentage of 62.16 compared to 37.84 for the Golden Knights, and led 23-14 in shot attempts. Vegas did lead in Scoring Chances For (9-7) and High-Danger Chances For (2-1).
11:02 p.m. — First period comes to an end. Seattle outshot Vegas 9-6 but trails 2-0.
10:52 p.m. — Brandon Tanev gets a breakaway chance while shorthanded but, after watching the play 14 times, looks like Lehner’s swipe knocks the puck away from him at the last second.
10:50 p.m. — Congrats. Jamie Oleksiak: You’re the first player in Kraken history to get a penalty (two for tripping).
10:35 p.m. — GOAL. My goodness, Jonathan Marchessault. Left alone in the slot he out-dekes Grubauer and slips the puck in from the goal line. Vegas leads 2-0.
10:30 p.m. — GOAL. At even strength, Vegas enters the zone with a 3-on-2 and Mark Stone finds the high-nan Max Pacioretty. The Connecticut native easily beats a sliding Philipp Grubauer. Vegas leads 1-0.
10:29 p.m. — Mark Giordano with a chance as he drops down from the right point.
10:26 p.m. — Well, my goodness; the Kraken are crackin’ already. Jordan Eberle’s diving attempt nicks the crossbar. And then the team gets their first power play.
10:26 p.m. — The puck has been dropped. Welcome to the NHL, Seattle.
10:24 p.m. — Vegas’ pregame show is still on point.
9:43 p.m. — Special night. Special pucks.
9:42 p.m. — Almost game time.
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What channel is Kraken vs. Golden Knights on?
- Date: Tues., Oct. 12
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV channel : ESPN (U.S.) | SN, TVAS (Canada)
- Stream : ESPN+ (U.S.) | fuboTV | SN NOW (Canada)