Jordan Eberle and his Kraken teammates came in here looking to continue their red-hot ways for the hometown fans in similar fashion to how they’ve largely steamrolled opponents on the road.
And fewer than 17 minutes into Tuesday night’s 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators, Eberle had already potted two goals, the opposing netminder was hitting the showers and Climate Pledge Arena fans were having a grand old time like never before. That’s because the Kraken wound up pumping a team record four first period goals behind Nashville starting netminder Juuse Saros, letting the hometown team prepare the postgame “Come and Get Your Love” victory music a little early ahead of their fifth consecutive victory.
Eberle’s two goals bookended the explosive Kraken showing that period, his first one entering the net just 38 seconds in to further ignite a crowd that had greeted the home side with a rousing ovation when they took the ice following their first-ever three-game road sweep. Saros wasn’t particularly sharp on Eberle’s slap shot from atop the right faceoff circle, nor on his second goal on a quick wrist shot off a turnover that got the goalie yanked with 3:35 remaining in the frame.
In-between, the besieged netminder did his best to offset multiple Predators’ giveaways, making a great stop off a one-timer by Morgan Geekie only to yield a screened goal on a Will Borgen wrister just seconds later. Andre Burakovsky got the goal of the night with 4:44 to play in the period, taking an Alex Wennberg pass off a turnover and hesitating until Saros committed and was down and out before sliding the puck home.
Brandon Tanev added an empty-net goal in the final 70 seconds.
Eberle’s second goal came just over a minute later, effectively ending things. Filip Forsberg snapped the shutout midway through the middle period on a breakaway off a blocked Borgen shot at Nashville’s blueline, but the Kraken killed off some ensuing penalties and boosted their record to 8-4-2.
What’s been impressive about this Kraken stretch is that their record should probably be even better than it is after a couple of road games given away to Anaheim and Chicago. Those two losses — one in overtime — are the Kraken’s only two road defeats all season in what could easily be a perfect record away from home.
As things stand, the Kraken, second in the Pacific Division behind Vegas, entered Tuesday with a 5-1-1 mark on the road compared to only 2-3-1 at home. Kraken coach Dave Hakstol had indicated at practice earlier in the week that it was important for his team to capitalize on this stretch of six consecutive Climate Pledge games.
It’s a different rhythm so we’ve got to adjust to that rhythm,” Hakstol said. “It’s really important for us to be ready to take advantage of home games. We’ve proven we can go out and win on the road. And we’ve done a good job of that.
“We’ve won some big games here recently at home. Now, we’ve got to be excited for that opportunity and change the rhythm a bit and take advantage of that.”
And that they did, even if they failed to light the lamp much after that opening period.
They still shut down two more power plays, running their penalty killing stretch to 13 straight. And they generally limited quality chances in front of goaltender Martin Jones in running their record against playoff teams from last season to a stellar 7-1-1.
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