The previous time the Kraken faced the Edmonton Oilers, on Nov. 1, the vibe was noticeably different.

The Kraken had lost to the New York Rangers at home the night before. A Seattle loss in Edmonton, Alberta, would become the second in a stretch of eight losses in nine games.

On Friday night at Climate Pledge Arena the Oilers faced an entirely different Kraken team.

The Kraken struck 49 seconds into the game, and when the Oilers tied it twice they built on a second-period lead and it held for a 4-3 win, the fifth Kraken win in seven games and the fourth consecutive game in which they collected a point.

Without leading scorers Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz, the Kraken still played one of their most complete games of the season.

“Nobody cares who is out of the lineup,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Nobody cares what the injuries are; they’re a part of this league. So whoever’s in this lineup on any given night has to go out and provide something that helps the team win. The biggest factor tonight was we got contributions from everyone in the lineup, big or small.”


Without their top scorers, yet still in the midst of the most momentum they’ve ever had, the Kraken played with swagger; Colin Blackwell’s celebration after his go-ahead goal in the second period, Alexander Wennberg’s sharp pass to the net front on Marcus Johansson’s tally, Joonas Donskoi’s dramatic game of keep-away before assisting on Adam Larsson’s goal, Ryan Donato’s puck battle wins and third goal in two games were all little flashes of the confidence the Kraken have begun to exude.

“I think as a group we’ve taken a lot of steps since last time (they played Edmonton),” Larsson said. “I think we did a much better job in the neutral zone, especially to slow them down a bit.”

When the Kraken have won, they’ve done so with a subplot in play. Chris Driedger shut down his former team, the Panthers, last week; before that, they beat Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek, whom they had traded back to Washington after the expansion draft.

On Friday, the subplot involved Larsson, who scored the first Kraken go-ahead goal against his former team. Kole Lind, in his third game with the Kraken and second since being recalled while they deal with injuries to Eberle and Schwartz, earned his first career point on one of the most dramatic goals in team history.

That was Blackwell’s go-ahead tally, where he split the Edmonton defense following a forecheck that stole the puck away in the neutral zone. Lind found Blackwell and his backhand goal — the Kraken are second in the NHL in goals off the backhand — beat Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner and gave the Kraken the lead for good.

Blackwell knew it was a big moment, too; he jumped into the glass after the play in one of the more jubilant celebrations of the season.


“I think we’re getting a lot of great efforts from up and down the lineup,” Blackwell said. “I think tonight’s a great, great example of, you know, we had some adversity, but we were able to weather the storm and I think maybe in the beginning of the season we that might have happened and you know, we might have lost a game or something like that. But we really kind of got that identity rolling right now and all four lines are doing pretty well.”

There have been many first periods Hakstol has called strong, ones the Kraken ended trailing. In some ways, he was right that leading in the first isn’t automatically a strong start, but it’s also fair to argue that fast start they’ve sought looked a lot more like the first period Friday.

Yanni Gourde’s goal 49 seconds into the game was the second-earliest goal to start a game for the Kraken all season. The Oilers, who own the highest percentage on the man advantage in the league, responded with a power-play goal a few minutes later.

The Kraken had a response for that, too; Larsson, who committed the interference penalty to give Edmonton its power play, deked an Oilers defender to fire in a goal against his former team.

Seattle carried the 2-1 lead to the first intermission, in good position against an Oilers squad that entered Friday 0-4-0 when trailing after a period.

Evan Bouchard beat Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer midway through the second period to tie the game, wristing a shot through traffic and finding an open half of the net. Blackwell scored later on to go ahead, then Wennberg connected with Johansson out front just over two minutes later.


Connor McDavid tipped a shot past Grubauer with just over eight minutes left in the third period for the third Oilers goal.

The Oilers had a rush in the final 90 seconds with Larsson in the box again, but the Kraken survived the onslaught and so did their four-game point streak.

“You sit on the bench and cheer on somebody who might not win a battle or maybe you do win a battle,” Blackwell said. “Everybody’s kind of cheering each other on and that’s what it takes to kind of motivate one another and support one another, and good things are happening for us.”