History was made tonight. Just the wrong kind.
In their first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff overtime game, the Seattle Kraken managed to come out on top 3-2 over the Colorado Avalanche. Jordan Eberle scored the game-winning goal exactly three minutes into overtime on the power play.
While it sent the Pacific Northwest into a ruckus and maybe caused something to show up on the Richter scale, it ties the series back up heading back to the Mile High City. Exactly not what the doctor ordered for Colorado.
As has been the case for the entire series, the Kraken came out with the hot hand and had more of a chance to do a ton of damage when Matt Nieto took a boarding penalty. While it was killed off, Will Borgen made sure to make the Avs pay and make it a 1-0 game.
It looked as though things could’ve gotten worse when Alex Newhook committed a high-sticking penalty right off the draw after the goal, but it was killed off. Bowen Byram then drew a penalty of his own on Yanni Gourde, who tried to fight him.
The power play was short-lasting and uneventful on the right end of the ice. Jared McCann streaked in shorthanded but was stopped and then smoked by Cale Makar, making him public enemy number one with an interference penalty initially called a major, but then reduced to a minor.
Makar's called for a major, but after review it's reduced to a minor for interference pic.twitter.com/VqtkQGP58n— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 25, 2023
After the 4-on-4 play, Daniel Sprong made sure to make Colorado really pay for their damage to Seattle’s top-scorer on the power play. Off the post and in, the Kraken had doubled the lead.
The rest of the period was extremely physical, with tons of hits, after-the-whistle altercations, and plenty of boos for Makar whenever he was even on the ice. Similar to Game 2, the Avs were lucky to only be down 2-0 after being outshot 18-8.
After Artturi Lehkonen and Logan O’Connor roughing penalties from the end of the first period were paid off, it didn’t look much different with Seattle controlling the play. Lars Eller had a big hit on Borgen which led to some of the best chances thus far for Nathan MacKinnon and Makar but didn’t find twine.
It wasn’t looking pretty as the Avs only had 10 shots halfway through the game, and two in the period. The Kraken continued to block shots and absolutely suffocated the Avs. Finally, there would be a breakthrough from Mikko Rantanen to cut the lead in half.
The fourth line then had a solid shift soon after, leading to another good first-line shift where Rantanen drew a holding penalty from Borgen. Since his name has already been mentioned twice in this section, take a guess who scored the equalizing goal in the closing seconds of the man advantage and the first power-play goal of the series for Colorado.
What was a pretty even and choppy period to start came with few chances and swallowed whistles as there was just on-ice action. O’Connor did a good job drawing a high-sticking penalty but led to nothing on the ensuing power play.
Both goaltenders came up big in the closing minutes, making big saves along the way. There was a moment when Alexandar Georgiev was pushed into the net with the puck under him in a goalmouth scramble but the whistle blew before anyway so it wouldn’t have counted.
J.T. Compher had a wonderful chance with about two minutes to go with a clear shooting lane but missed the net, another theme of the night. The last minutes would come to a close uneventfully and headed to overtime for the first time in the series.
The Avs came out the better team in the first two minutes with some chances including Makar sending one down low which just couldn’t be finished off on a rebound. But, the Avs defense lost track of Jaden Schwartz, who streaked in on Georgiev but was stopped and was also halted by a Josh Manson tripping penalty.
This would end up being the dagger, as the Kraken would win their first home playoff game and their first playoff game in overtime thanks to Eberle giving them the win and tying up the series with his first goal in the playoffs.
The slow starts cannot continue. Need I say more? The Avs keep playing catch-up this entire series and while they came back from the last two, they couldn’t tonight. They didn’t deserve to win this game and fought hard to get it to overtime. All it took was a penalty from Manson which he probably didn’t need to take to gift Seattle the win. They beat themselves and were beaten on special teams, with the Kraken scoring two power-play goals and the Avs only scoring one.
Part of the slow starts and throughout the game, Colorado could not hit the net. There were several times when guys would put themselves in good positions but simply miss the net. Other times, the Kraken was doing an excellent job of using the body and taking away shooting lanes, making it challenging to get the puck to Grubauer in the first place. Seattle has done their homework, give them credit there, and it is hampering the Avs’ every move.
To end this on a more positive note, Rantanen continues to do what he has done all season. He got both of Colorado’s goals in this game and pulled his team up from a 2-0 deficit. However, he didn’t have much help anywhere else in the lineup. While he’s done it all season, he’d certainly want some help from his teammates who cannot seem to keep up and are being beaten to the puck, being outworked, and losing battles. The Avs needed this, it may be a slap in the face and back to reality heading into the last three games.
Colorado heads back home with the series tied at two in what is now a best-of-three series. Puck drop on Wednesday night is at 7:30 p.m. MT on ESPN.