Kraken winger and fan favorite Brandon Tanev wanted the hockey universe to know he hasn’t suddenly morphed into the second coming of former teammate Sidney Crosby.

With two more goals Tuesday night in a 5-1 pasting of the Montreal Canadiens — the Kraken’s first victory at Climate Pledge Arena — Tanev is now just one shy of the six he tallied all of last season. But he wanted inquiring minds to know it was his teammates “making the plays,” whether by feeding him pucks or tossing “stuffed” replica fish to fans Pike Place Market style in a postgame celebration of the franchise’s first home victory.

“It’s not all on me making the plays,” Tanev said. “It’s the guys on the ice that are making the plays.”

Though that sounds like humble offerings to his buddies, there’s actually pinpoint accuracy in Tanev’s analysis — much like the pucks he was fed all night long. It’s the culmination of a quick transition game Kraken coach Dave Hakstol wants the team to embrace and one it finally executed for 60 minutes in front of a thoroughly entertained crowd of 17,151.  

With the score tied 1-1 late in the first period, Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak did a fine job of carrying the puck in deep before shoveling it at the net, where Tanev redirected it home. And then, after a brilliant second-period rush by Yanni Gourde in which he deked Canadiens goalie Jake Allen for a third Kraken goal, the crafty centerman hit a streaking Tanev with a breakaway pass that resulted in a 4-1 lead just 1:57 later.

“We did a great job in the neutral zone,” Tanev said. “Yanni found me, and I was fortunate to find some space. But I think it’s the guys all around the ice that are making it easy for ourselves as a team.”


The Kraken, 2-4-1 after halting a string of three consecutive regulation losses and a fourth in overtime, has not had things easy. Gourde’s goal marked the first time the Kraken has had a multiple-goal lead all season, and Tanev’s second marker provided a rare margin for error.

And the Kraken still made errors, such as allowing a 2-on-0 breakaway chance by the Canadiens just a minute after gaining the 4-1 lead. Brendan Gallagher missed the net with his shot on that one, having earlier been stoned by Philipp Grubauer’s leg save on a one-timed first period chance after being left alone in front of the goalie.

Mike Hoffman scored the only Montreal goal soon after to tie things 1-1 by pouncing on a loose puck in the slot. But Tanev restored the lead by period’s end, and the Kraken kept burying chances.

“In the second period, sometimes there can be a lull,” said winger Jordan Eberle, who scored his first goal of the season just 1:02 into the game. “But we just continued to play well, transitioned quick, got a couple of goals off the rush and for the most part played well for 60 minutes.”

Ryan Donato capped things off 5:15 into the third period by intercepting a pass, going in alone and shifting the puck to his backhand before hoisting it in upstairs on Allen. Other than a Mason Appleton injury late in the second period in which he appeared to injure his right knee after being hauled to the ice, the night could not have gone much better for the home side.

Hakstol had a front-row seat to the league’s newest team dismantling its oldest franchise. He enjoyed seeing his Kraken pounce on turnovers, create chances off the rush and move the puck quickly around the offensive zone before Montreal’s beleaguered and tired defenders could catch their breath.

“The two quick goals within a couple of minutes in the second period, those were big goals for us,” he said of the Gourde and Tanev strikes. “No question, to be able to put a bit of distance there makes it a steep hill for a comeback.”