Final: Golden Knights 4, Kraken 3

7 p.m. | T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, Nevada

TV: ESPN | Radio: 950 AM

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Golden Knights 4, Kraken 3

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Kraken rallies but falls short to Golden Knights in franchise’s first game

LAS VEGAS — Kraken players not yet born the last time the city they represent boasted a professional hockey team had taken the ice here Tuesday night to showbiz glitz and star-studded pageantry.

The pregame festivities preceding the franchise’s inaugural contest at T-Mobile Arena featured a hologram of a supposed giant Kraken curling its tentacles through cracked ice only to be slain by a lone Golden Knight costumed figure. By the time the electrified home crowd had settled down from that gimmickry, the actual game picked up where the preamble left off as the Kraken fell behind early, came all the way back but lost 4-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights on a controversial kick-in goal by Chandler Stephenson.

The disputed play at 8:33 of the third period was upheld upon video review even though Stephenson clearly redirected the puck in with his skate — which is allowed by NHL rules as long as a player doesn’t do it with a clear kicking motion. 

Read more here.

—Geoff Baker
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Final: Golden Knights 4, Kraken 3

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Golden Knights retake the lead

Goal: Vegas, Chandler Stephenson.

Assists: Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone.

Score: Golden Knights 4, Kraken 3.

Morgan Geekie ties it up for the Kraken

Goal: Seattle, Morgan Geekie.

Assist: Jeremy Lauzon.

Score: Golden Knights 3, Kraken 3.

Second-period impressions

Smarter hockey

There’s been a few miscues. The first period saw the Vince Dunn-Jeremy Lauzon pairing struggle, and the second just had some poor decisions. Following a Jaden Schwartz holding penalty, the Kraken inexplicably had too many men on the ice 11 seconds after the initial penalty ended.

All the defensemen have been fixated on pinching up in the offensive end, which is great on the forecheck and all, but it’s come back to burn the Kraken — especially Dunn more than once — a few times on the defensive end. It hasn’t worked the way they intended, at least.

It’s the first game, the team just figured out its roster about three hours before the game, and there were certainly jitters. But that stuff has to be cleaned up.

Donato makes history

Ryan Donato wasn’t one of the first rostered Kraken players; he signed right before training camp. But it’s his name that will be in history forever as the first Kraken goal scorer.

He posted up around the crease and took a Dunn rebound to give Seattle its first goal of the game — and season, and ever — and make it a two-goal contest. It looked a lot like the goal he scored in the final preseason game in Vancouver, where he buried a rebound.

If he can do that for Seattle, what a late pickup.

Offensive response

Schwartz took a shot 1:12 later for the Kraken on a slick pass from linemate Jordan Eberle in the slot, and center Jared McCann deflected it in to make it a one-goal game.

McCann almost didn’t even play, as one of the four Kraken players who began the day in COVID protocol and got into the contest. That trio has stayed together as a unit throughout training camp, and that they got to be together in the opening game had some instant chemistry, and benefitted the Kraken.

All in all, it was a nice response after the Knights held Seattle to shots primarily from the outside for the majority of the first period. The Kraken has also struggled at times since the preseason to avoid shots being blocked, and the second period was a better showing in that regard.

—Marisa Ingemi
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End of second: Golden Knights 3, Kraken 2

Live look at the Angry Beaver

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Jared McCann strikes to bring Kraken within one goal

Goal: Jared McCann.

Assist: Jordan Eberle, Jaden Schwartz.

Score: Golden Knights 3, Kraken 2.

Ryan Donato scores first goal in Kraken history

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Vegas tacks on another for a 3-0 lead

Goal: Vegas, Nicolas Hague.

Assists: Mark Stone, Zach Whitecloud.

Score: Golden Knights 3, Kraken 0.

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First-period impressions

Kraken too amped up?

Kraken captain Mark Giordano had warned the past two days against his team coming out too fast due to adrenaline from this being both the season and franchise opener. Well, the Kraken sure made him look prescient, going on the power play just 27 seconds into the game and running around all over the place from there.

Vegas had the NHL’s best penalty kill last season and immediately caught the Kraken on a dangerous-looking counterattack. That trend continued from there once the penalty expired, and the next counter resulted in a goal by Max Pacioretty just 3:10 into the game. The Golden Knights would add another goal by the 6:36 mark for a 2-0 lead.

Grubauer looks unsteady early

Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer is known for his disciplined positioning, but he was exposed a bit by veteran Max Pacioretty on the first Vegas goal. Pacioretty took a Mark Stone pass in the left faceoff circle, then hesitated an extra moment to get Grubauer to overcommit to his right before beating him with a snap shot past his glove to the open far side of the net.

On the second goal, Jonathan Marchessault was left all alone in front of Grubauer and then proceeded to turn the goalie inside out with some deft stickhandling. Grubauer wound up down on the ice, and the puck was easily tucked into the vacant net. Vegas had only three shots the first 15 minutes of the game, but two went in.

Lost momentum swing?

With five minutes to go in the period and the Kraken killing off a penalty to Jamie Oleksiak, Brandon Tanev was sent in alone with a clear-cut breakaway on Robin Lehner. Tanev tried some dekes, only to have the puck roll off his stick. A golden opportunity missed, but it could have been worse. On the ensuing power-play rush the other way, Nolan Patrick found himself in close on Grubauer, who made a solid leg save to prevent a third Vegas goal.

—Geoff Baker
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End of first: Vegas 2, Kraken 0

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Vegas scores again early in first period

Goal: Golden Knights, Jonathan Marchessault.

Assists: William Karlsson.

Score: Golden Knights 2, Kraken 0.

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Vegas kills the penalty, then scores first

Goal: Golden Knights, Max Pacioretty.

Assists: Mark Stone, Chandler Stephenson.

Score: Golden Knights 1, Kraken 0.

Kraken on power play early

Game on!

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Kraken's first starting lineup

Kraken's lines are here

Kraken takes the ice for pregame warmups

McCann, Oleksiak, Donskoi clear COVID-19 protocol, arrive in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Kraken forwards Joonas Donskoi and Jared McCann and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak cleared COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday and have arrived in Las Vegas ahead of the season opener against the Golden Knights.

Multiple sources confirmed the players are at T-Mobile Arena and expected to play, leaving only forward Calle Jarnkrok still in COVID-19 protocol and unavailable.

Story here.

—Geoff Baker

Kraken pregame notes: Seattle prepares for first game while dealing with COVID-19 protocol

LAS VEGAS — As of seven hours before the game, the Seattle Kraken is still figuring out what the inaugural lineup will be.

Marcus Johansson was the only player who entered COVID-19 protocol on the ice for morning skate on Tuesday. That could change as the rest of the players in protocol continue to test in Seattle to see if they can get clearance in time for Tuesday’s game in Vegas.

After skate, head coach Dave Hakstol said it could take more time to figure out just who would be suiting up for the Kraken, though he hoped to have clarity for the players soon.

“I’m not going to make predictions (with COVID protocol),” said Hakstol. “We’re gonna have our lineup for today, it’s still a work in progress. We’re gonna continue that for the next few hours.”

Everyone else was on the ice for the first morning skate of the season, excluding Alex Barre-Boulet.

Read more here.

—Marisa Ingemi

Quiz: Are you ready for Kraken season? Test your NHL knowledge here.

Hockey season is finally here.

You know the players, you’ve watched the preseason games, and you’ve read our complete preview coverage.

So, are you ready to cheer on the Kraken?

From Seattle-area players and history to Stanley Cup champs and NHL greats, test your hockey knowledge with our 12-question quiz.

—Seattle Times sports staff

The Kraken’s first regular-season game is all about history, and the players are ready for it

LAS VEGAS — When the most recent Seattle major professional hockey expansion team debuted some 106 years ago, Bernie Morris took the opening faceoff surrounded by royalty that included Frank Foyston, Jack Walker and a goalie named Hap Holmes.

And so, with apologies to whatever COVID-19-depleted Kraken group takes the ice here Tuesday night against the Vegas Golden Knights, all the angst over roster additions and line matchups entering the contest won’t amount to a hill of historical beans.

A century from now, when fans gaze back at details of the night the Kraken first carried Seattle’s NHL aspirations, nobody will care much about whether goalie Philipp Grubauer ultimately matched the Hall of Fame legacy of Holmes, or whether Jaden Schwartz or Jordan Eberle could replicate the similarly enshrined Foyston or Walker.

Read more here.

—Geoff Baker

A Kraken fan’s visual guide to hockey and the NHL


The Kraken and the NHL have finally arrived in Seattle. But before the puck drops on your new favorite sport Oct. 12, let's make sure you're ready.

Do you know where the crease is located? Or what all those circles on the ice are for? At the very least, you're familiar with zambonis.

Whether you're a complete newbie eager to learn the basics or an underground Seattle hockey fan looking for a refresher, we're here to help.

From the lines and zones that divide an NHL rink to players' positions and responsibilities, here's a proper introduction to hockey.

—Seattle Times Staff

Kraken players welcome opportunity to reinvent themselves and forge a new identity in Seattle

It’s all there to be written for the Seattle Kraken, which is the beauty, wonder and appeal of the newest franchise in town.

We saw it, long ago, with the other expansion teams that now have become established elders in the Seattle sports scene. There’s nothing quite like being on the ground floor of possibility, where everything is a first and the sense of shared ownership is powerful.

Soon enough, there will be complaints, resentments, second-guesses — the baggage of being an invested sports fan. But now, the slate is clean, a tabula rasa upon which every Kraken player is eager to add his signature.

The excitement has been building from the day the franchise was awarded in December 2018, following a long and often torturous battle for the arena that made it possible. It grew through the team-building process that finally took tangible shape during the expansion and entry drafts in a whirlwind week in late July. Tweaking of the roster followed, and no doubt will continue apace as general manager Ron Francis and coach Dave Hakstol try to shape the sort of tenacious team they have extolled.

Read more here.

—Larry Stone

A high-energy, relentless style has led Tampa Bay and others to NHL playoff success. Will it work for the Kraken?

Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer had a shellshocked look on his face as he skated through the handshake line in June after his most recent NHL game that actually counted for something.

Same with teammate and winger Joonas Donskoi, who with Grubauer had just played his final contest for a Colorado Avalanche team that finished with the league’s best regular-season record, only to be dispatched in the second playoff round by the Vegas Golden Knights.

It was the same scene playing out in Tampa Bay for current Kraken winger Alex Wennberg and goalie Chris Driedger, whose Florida Panthers had fought all season to gain home-ice advantage over the in-state rival Lightning, only to drop the first two games of their playoff matchup at home en route to an opening-round defeat.

You could go on and on about new Kraken players most recently eliminated by teams playing a high-energy style with relentless forechecking and puck movement they will now try to emulate with Seattle’s expansion club.

Read more here.

—Geoff Baker