Unleash the Kraken!
The NHL’s newest team hits the ice for the first time in its history on Tuesday night, as the Kraken head to Sin City to take on the Golden Knights. It’s a battle of the league’s two newest franchises, and Vegas left some big shoes to fill. During its inaugural season in 2017-18, the club won the Pacific Division and went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. In the three seasons since, they won another division title (2019-20) and made the playoffs each year: They made the first round in 2019, conference final in 2020 and conference semifinal in 2021.
Seattle is currently playing with house money. One thing they may not be playing with, however, is a few key guys in Calle Jarnkrok, Joonas Donskoi, Jared McCann and Jamie Oleksiak. They are all in COVID-19 protocol and were declared unavailable earlier in the day. Around 8:30 p.m. ET, however, The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark reported that Donskoi, McCann and Oleksiak were in Vegas and were expected to play. Then, per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the three were taking warmup.
MEET THE KRAKEN: Compete roster, opening games
It could be a roll of the dice for bench boss Dave Hakstol against a stacked Golden Knights roster. One positive is he’s expected to have 2021 Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer in net. (The Vezina Trophy is voted on by the general managers and given to the league’s best goaltender). The free agent signee is coming off a season in which he went 30-91 for the Avalanche with a .922 save percentage, seven shutouts and 14.5 Goals Saved Above Average (save percentage and shots faced vs. league average save percentage on the same number of shots, per Hockey Reference).
Hakstol will also have one of the best leaders in the NHL on his side. Ex-Flames captain Mark Giordano was unsurprisingly handed the “C” and is the first captain in franchise history.
While the Kraken’s lineup and 2021-22 season are sure to be an ever-spinning roulette wheel, the Golden Knights are always hitting their number. Robin Lehner has officially ascended to the No. 1 goaltending spot after Marc-Andre Fleury — the 2021 Vezina Trophy winner and co-William M. Jennings Trophy winner (fewest goals allowed) with Lehner — was shockingly sent to Chicago. There’s also team captain Mark Stone, one of the best two-way centers in the game, Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and perennial Norris Trophy contenders Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore.
Sporting News has all the action as the Kraken get crackin’ and hit the ice for the first time in the regular season (all times Eastern).
Kraken vs. Golden Knights live score, highlights
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 Ryan 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. 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. 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 trail 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 away 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 behind the goalie 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 that Kraken are crackin’ already. Jordan Eberle with a diving attempt that 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)