Marcus Johansson scored with just over three minutes remaining to give the Seattle Kraken a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes in Carolina’s first visit to Seattle on Wednesday.
Johannson circled the Carolina net and beat Frederik Andersen to the short side to give the Kraken the lead for the first time and hand the Hurricanes their first multiple game winless streak of the season after they lost in overtime Monday in San Jose.
“It was good. I don’t know what else we could do. Just didn’t score,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We did everything we should do, we just didn’t capitalize. We didn’t give up a heck of a lot, just couldn’t find a way to get another goal.”
Carolina outshot Seattle 36-22, but big-ticket goalie PhilippFrederi Grubauer — who has struggled after leaving Colorado to sign a six-year, $35.4 million contract with the expansion Kraken — flashed his form from last season to earn consecutive wins for just the second time this season and help the Kraken improve to 6-12-1.
Outside of scoring five goals in Los Angeles on Saturday, the Hurricanes have totaled just four goals in the other three most recent games during the team’s six-game road trip.
“It’s frustrating because we’re not scoring,” Brind’Amour said. “Earlier in the year we were getting the bounces going our way and now we’re not. … We play a game like that every game, we’re going to have good results.”
The Hurricanes got the start they needed with a first period goal from defenseman Brendan Smith.
After Carolina killed off the game’s first power play, defenseman Tony DeAngelo held in the puck at the right point and made a spinning backhand to Smith. Smith settled the puck and let go a slap shot that found its way through a Jordan Staal screen and past Grubauer (35 saves) to give Smith his second goal of the season and the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead with 88 seconds left in the first period.
“That’s elite. I mean, that’s a very high level,” Smith said of DeAngelo’s pass. “I’ve watched him make that play a lot. … At that point, I looked up and I saw Jordan in front, and you can’t get a bigger guy in front. So he had a pretty good screen, and I tried to get a good wood on it and it went in.”
The Kraken tied the game early in the second. After Jaccob Slavin was called for a questionable holding penalty — one that Brind’Amour questioned after the game — Jared McCann blasted a shot past Andersen (20 saves) to tie the game at 4:16 of the middle frame.
“To be honest, I wasn’t very happy with the call on Jake,” Smith said of the Slavin penalty. “He doesn’t get many penalties to begin with, and I think if we break that down, that’s probably not a penalty and changed the outcome.”
The Hurricanes tried to get back ahead, but a fighting major and roughing minor to Andrei Svechnikov after a one-sided scrap with Seattle defenseman Vince Dunn left Carolina shorthanded for two minutes and without the night’s most impactful forward for much of the remainder of the game.
“It’s just one of those moments,” Svechnikov said. “It happened so fast. … I know I’m not a fighter. I’ve got to be on the ice and helping my team win games. Probably I shouldn’t do that.”
Brind’Amour didn’t agree with the extra two minutes handed to Svechnikov, but he also didn’t condone his star winger spending seven of the game’s final 10 minutes in the box.
“That’s not the good play because it takes him out of the game,” the coach said.
By the time Svechnikov returned to the ice with just over two minutes remaining, Johansson had already put Seattle ahead and Carolina was on its way to falling to 14-3-1 on the season.
“We’re frustrated, I’m frustrated,” Smith said. “But I think we can take solace in how we played and competed.”