Kraken defenseman Justin Schultz could see right away his team had a different look to its latest overtime dice roll.

After spending all week talking and then working on their 3-on-3 play, the Kraken went out Thursday night and changed their fortunes in the extra session. Not that anybody had drawn up Schultz slapping home a loose puck in sudden death for a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers, but the way the Kraken’s luck had been going lately, they’ll certainly take it.

“It was just a little bit more structure, I think,” Schultz said after his second goal of the night delivered only the second Kraken overtime win in franchise history and first in four tries this season. “The three (overtime) games we lost were kind of a little bit all over the place. We just sat down and practiced it. And I thought you noticed that tonight. We did a much better job.”

In snapping their two-game losing skid and improving to 9-5-3 overall, the Kraken showed patience and perseverance not only in the overtime — resisting the urge to take ill-advised chances — but throughout the night against franchise nemesis and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin.

The Rangers netminder dating back to last season had stonewalled the Kraken on 94 of 98 shots over two games plus an additional 50 minutes of this one before Schultz snapped a 1-1 tie midway through the final period on a snapper from the point that found its way through traffic. But then, for the second straight game, a late Carson Soucy penalty cost them a tying Vincent Trocheck power play goal with just 1:54 to play in regulation and Shesterkin pulled for a 6-on-4 advantage.

Still, the Kraken never wavered. And when Jordan Eberle drove his way down the left side toward the Rangers’ net in overtime, Schultz would be there to slap home a loose puck that wove its way through a maze of players at the goalmouth.


“I liked the way we responded in overtime and found a way to keep going to get the two points,” Schultz said.

It helped that Martin Jones was every bit as solid as Shesterkin, turning away 28 of 30 shots by the visitors.

“Obviously, it was tough to give up a late goal again but we bounced back,” Jones said. “We had a great response and obviously got a real great goal in overtime.”

The biggest stop of many by Jones might have come in a tied second period dominated by the Kraken. They’d grabbed an early lead fewer than three minutes into the contest when Jared McCann redirected a Will Borgen point shot past Shesterkin, only to see Mika Zibanejad respond with a tying power play marker with five minutes to go in that frame.

But the Kraken stormed out to start the second period and rode three power play opportunities to a 16-5 edge in shots that only Shesterkin’s acrobatics were keeping out of the net. Moments after Brandon Tanev was stopped point blank by Shesterkin on a one-timer, Kaapo Kakko raced down the other way on a clear cut breakaway and tried to pull a deke move.

But Jones stuck his leg out and kept it there, catching a break when Kakko fired the puck into his prone pad with Jones sprawled on the ice and out of position.


“He made a good move and I was leaning the wrong way,” Jones said. “I just threw my leg back as far as I could and was able to get a piece of it.”

The Kraken, to a man, looked like a different team once overtime started, taking cautious routes, reversing course when openings weren’t there and waiting for their chance. They’d been 1-9 lifetime in games decided by overtime, their only prior win coming last January at Pittsburgh.

“We practiced 3-on-3 yesterday and the day before and it was huge,” McCann said afterward. “We felt more confident going into it. We made some plays, but we were smart with the puck.”

And the man urging that added intelligence all week, Kraken coach Dave Hakstol, liked what he saw in the extra session.

“We just stayed with it,” Hakstol said. “It’s just poise and possession and when we didn’t have the puck the guys were organized and pushed things to the outside, checked well and gave us the opportunity to make the game-winning play at the end.”