NASHVILLE — There’s a big difference between beginning a five-game road trip with consecutive losses and responding to the initial loss.

On Thursday in Nashville, that difference also happened to be the first victory in Seattle Kraken history.

Just like in Vegas, the Kraken came back, but this time, it pulled out a 4-3 win. The Predators jumped out to a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the contest, but the Kraken stormed back with two power play goals before Alexander Wennberg netted the go-ahead tally in the second period.

“It’s just a big win for the franchise,” said Wennberg. “It’s so new, I mean to get that first win, it’s a really big accomplishment. It’s really good for us as a team and the organization, that’s the first one, hopefully there’s many more to come.”

The Kraken stopped the Predators’ transition moving the puck through the neutral zone, using an aggressive forecheck in its offensive end to dominate the possession game the way it showed it had the potential to do in the preseason; but, despite the strong middle of the game, the Kraken had to survive a third period where it didn’t get a shot on goal until Brandon Tanev netted an empty-netter, his second goal of the game, with 1:21 left in the third.

It’s not every day an empty-net goal is the game-winner in the box score, but it’s also not every day a team earns its first franchise win.


“I think a little bit (of the Nashville pressure) was stress in us, in our play in the third period,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “Yet our guys were pretty calm, pretty focused. Guys were pretty excited to be able to get the first.”

Before the Kraken could hold on, Seattle fell into a deficit for the second time in two games.

The Kraken played the puck with a high stick in its defensive end, giving the Predators an offensive-zone faceoff. Nashville took advantage.

Following the draw, Eeli Tolvanen won a loose puck off the stick of Luke Kunin and had an open look in the slot. With 3:18 gone in the game, his shot beat goalie Philipp Grubauer and put the Predators ahead 1-0.

Momentum has a way of changing, though.

Vince Dunn laid a big hit on Colton Sissons to separate him from the puck, which Predators forward Yakov Trenin took offense to. The duo fought, sending Dunn to the locker room — he returned at the end of the period — and the Kraken to the power play, with Trenin earning an extra roughing minor.

That was all the Kraken needed to tie things up.

Jared McCann took a shot from just below the blue line with 15:27 gone in the first, and it deflected off Nashville defenseman Dante Fabbro for an even 1-1 score.


The Kraken power play struck again shortly after following a tripping call against the Predators. With six seconds left on the man advantage, Wennberg drove the puck to the net, and Tanev was there to clean up on the rebound and give Seattle its first lead in franchise history, 2-1.

Special teams burned the Kraken in the next frame, though.

Following an Adam Larsson cross-checking call, Tanev went to the box for a slash, giving Nashville a 5-on-3. With 14 seconds left on the Larsson penalty, a blast from 2020 Norris Trophy winner Roman Josi under the blue line knotted things back up for the Predators.

Halfway through the second, Wennberg had time and then some posted up at the crease in front of Saros and took a slick pass from Alex Barre-Boulet, in his first game after joining the team on Monday. He netted his first goal of the season as the Kraken retook the lead, 3-2.

Grubauer made 24 saves and, despite giving up the first goal just over three minutes into the contest, wasn’t challenged the same way he was early in the Vegas game. This time, the Kraken avoided falling into a hole, and responded to the first deficit.

“I think it’s going to be a couple of games for sure where this group makes mistakes,” said Grubauer. “Everybody wants to be perfect, but I think there needs to be mistakes made, and we want to learn from them. And I think that’s not always a bad thing, you can learn as a group and clean those things up.”

Tanev scored an empty-netter late before Mikael Granlund made things interesting with a tally with 40 seconds left, but the Kraken held on.

It was closer to a 60-minute effort than the Kraken had in Vegas, when it had to come back from down 3-0, but the third period still had concerns. That can be addressed ahead of the third game of the trip in Columbus on Saturday; for now, the Kraken can enjoy its first-ever victory.

“I think it’s phenomenal,” said Grubauer. “It doesn’t just speak for the group, it speaks for the organization and the work that people have put in for two years or longer.”