ANAHEIM, Calif. –– On the ice as in the water, the Kraken proved too imposing for the Ducks as they prevailed 4-3 at Anaheim’s Honda Center on Friday night.

Winger Ryan Donato scored two goals, defenseman Vince Dunn notched another and winger Jordan Eberle netted the winner for the Kraken. Forward Yanni Gourde chipped in with two assists. Chris Driedger made 24 saves; his last win came on Dec. 14. Center Isac Lundestrom tallied twice for Anaheim, winger Rickard Rakell added a goal and defenseman Jamie Drysdale contributed a pair of assists. John Gibson stopped 23 shots.

The Kraken had lost three of their past four games heading into the matchup and moved to 16-28-4 in their inaugural campaign with Friday’s victory. They did so, perhaps, with a bit of divine intervention.

“(Eberle) was like, ‘I don’t know why it’s not going in, we’ve had a lot of chances and some Grade-A chances,’” Donato said. “I have this rosary that my dad gave me that was blessed in Medjugorje so I joked with him like, ‘Hey, you should get a little prayer in if you want to touch it.’ He did it after the second period … and then he scored in the third.”

With 1:42 to play, the Kraken produced their picturesque game-winner. Center Riley Sheahan lobbed a backhand saucer pass across the goal crease for Eberle, who rifled it past Gibson against the grain and to the far side. Eberle may have resorted to the rosary because he last scored on Dec. 6.

“This has definitely been one of the longer slumps of my career, it probably is the longest,” said the 12-year veteran Eberle. “I felt like every night I was getting three or four (chances), hitting crossbars, getting Grade-As and getting robbed. Eventually they go in and then they always seem to come in bunches.”


In the final frame, both teams generated near misses with Driedger denying winger Jakob Silfverberg on a point-blank chance and defenseman Mark Giordano striking the post with a shot. Dunn took an inopportune penalty late, retaliating against center Trevor Zegras with a slash that nullified a two-on-one break.

The Kraken had the final six shots of the second period. They headed to intermission tied at 3 thanks to Donato’s second marker, a heave from the high slot that clipped Gibson on its way into the net with 5:25 left in the second period.

Gourde assisted on Dunn’s goal and then the second Donato goal.

“When you have a guy that can be gritty and grind and make tough plays but also make highlight-reel plays, behind-the-back plays and create scoring chances for others, it’s hard to find guys like that,” Donato said of Gourde.

Anaheim had earned its first advantage of the evening off a power-play goal at the 8:33 mark. After Zegras shanked a shot toward an open net, the Ducks regrouped and scored when Rakell deflected in Drysdale’s shot.

The Ducks knotted the game at 2, 5:34 into the second stanza. A tic-tac-toe play off the rush culminated in Lundestrom’s second goal of the evening.

The Kraken regained an edge when Dunn crept down from the left point into quiet ice to score his sixth goal of the season with 5:19 left in the first period. Dunn has two goals in his past three games.


“We were able to grind through it and push back at the right times, make plays at the right times and come up with key plays,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Obviously that’s real positive for us, the biggest thing was that we got back to our competitiveness.”

The Kraken assumed the game’s first lead but handed it back in short order. Donato scored his first goal since Jan. 17 and his 10th of the season two minutes into the game off a one-timer from a challenging angle. The Ducks waited just 12 seconds for an equalizer from Lundestrom. 

Between those goals, defenseman Jamie Oleksiak squared off with Ducks forward Nicolas Deslauriers, setting the tone for the third installment in this budding divisional rivalry.