SUNRISE, Fla. — Saturday night could have been another chapter in the story of the Kraken’s alleged revenge tour across the league.

Goalie Chris Driedger was making his return after the Panthers left him exposed in expansion. It was also Alex Wennberg’s first game back since he left in free agency. Jared McCann is three teams removed, and Riley Sheahan one, but all four were familiar with FLA Live Arena.

They handed their former team their first and only home loss of the season, on a night where the Panthers could have made history with the longest win streak at home to start the season.

The Kraken spoiled that, giving the Panthers their first tally in the L column with a 4-1 win Saturday night. After a loss to Tampa Bay the night before, the Kraken end a stretch with four of the league’s best teams — Washington, Carolina, Tampa and Florida — at 3-1-0.

“I believe we’re past building blocks,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’re just trying to put wins together. We went through a tough stretch where we couldn’t find a result that would go our way. We hit a few speed bumps and wobbled a bit, but we had to push back, and that pushback came in a real tough stretch in the schedule.”

The Panthers controlled possession most of the way, the opposite of many games the Kraken (7-13-1) have played, and lost. This time, the difference was the goalie, and actually in Seattle’s favor.


The last time Driedger played he was pulled in the second period against Colorado after struggling against the Avalanche. He more than redeemed that performance against his old squad with 32 saves.

“My first two or three games, I guess you could say haven’t really gone my way,” Driedger said. “So I just need to go in there and feel good and make some saves and get some confidence back and what a buzz, coming back into this building, so it feels really good to get that one.”

Driedger played two seasons with the Panthers, where he had a .931 save percentage and a 21-8-4 record over 35 games. He was left exposed since the Panthers have Sergei Bobrovsky signed long-term and former top prospect Spencer Knight has been waiting in the wings.

On Saturday, he frustrated Florida, and set the tone early with a short-handed breakaway stop of Jonathan Huberdeau to stop the Panthers momentum before it even begun.

Then the Kraken responded to that with a quick goal, rewarding the save.

In the 800th game of Jordan Eberle’s career, he did something no one on the Kraken had done in eight games — score first.


In the last gasp of a power play, Joonas Donskoi found Eberle alone and he beat Knight to give the Kraken their first 1-0 lead since they went up early in Arizona on Nov. 6.

It lasted all of five minutes.

Patric Hornqvist tipped a shot past Driedger to knot things at 1-1.

That lasted less than four minutes.

In one of the better offensive possessions of the past few games, Carson Soucy forced the puck into the offensive zone, traded the puck with Ryan Donato, then Donskoi whiffed on a shot that might have been blocked away.

But the Kraken offense had layers, and Jamie Oleksiak was waiting to blast one. Donato tipped it in, Seattle’s first tipped goal of the season, and the Kraken had two goals in the opening frame for the first time in three weeks.

“We haven’t really played with leads,” Eberle said. “There’s been a lot of games where we played from behind so first and foremost we got a huge save on the breakaway and came back and scored.”

In his first game as a member of the Kraken, Will Borgen made quite the impression. He had been waiting 21 games to do it, after all.


Haydn Fleury was offside and fired a puck on net, not realizing the play had been blown dead. The Panthers took exception and got in an altercation around the blue line, where Borgen jumped in, and he and Ryan Lomberg got matching roughing calls.

“It was a good performance for his situation coming in,” Hakstol said of Borgen. “It’s November 27, and he gets in his first regular season game. His compete level was high, you saw that right away in the game.”

The Kraken have owned second periods all season, even in Tampa Bay, in a game where they never scored. The Panthers pushed the entire middle frame though, and Driedger was forced to stay on his toes.

Seattle still had chances; Yanni Gourde missed an open look high and wide over the net. A slick passing sequence led to a Jared McCann look denied by Knight. But for the most part, the Panthers owned the period, and made Driedger earn it.

When the Kraken haven’t extended leads this season, it’s burned them, until Saturday.

Florida, who leads the league in take-aways, didn’t make it easy for the Kraken to do that.


Eberle extended the lead off a Kraken takeaway, Gourde stealing the puck away in the offensive zone and getting it to the Kraken leading scorer. He backhanded in his eighth tally of the season.

“He was hunting pucks, but that’s just typical Gourdy,” Eberle said. “He’s hard on pucks, he doesn’t really give up. He made a great play and just missed the shot, and I was just there to put in the rebound.”

Oleksiak picked up an empty netter from 190 feet away with just over three minutes left to seal the game. It was his first goal with the Kraken, and the perfect way to wrap up a night where things finally felt like they went right.