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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kraken fall to Coyotes for 6th consecutive shootout loss; Spokane’s Kailer Yamamoto promoted to top line

By Kate Shefte Seattle Times

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Kraken (4-6-3) dropped a sixth straight shootout, a streak that dates to the start of last season, for a 4-3 final score Tuesday night at Mullett Arena.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle all failed to convert, so the Arizona Coyotes took the extra standings point.

Yanni Gourde — or Jaden Schwartz, depending on who you ask — set up the Kraken’s opening goal 40 seconds into the game. Schwartz was announced as the Kraken representative who would be taking the ceremonial faceoff before the game. Gourde skated over to center ice to do the honors, looking bemused.

He let his teammate get the glory less than a minute into the game as well. The Coyotes were caught pinching and Gourde had a clean 2-on-0 with Eeli Tolvanen. They played catch and Gourde tapped it to Tolvanen at the last second with Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram sliding past the far post.

Mason Maccelli tied the game five minutes later, sending one flying past Adam Larsson’s feet and in off the post. The Coyotes took their first lead, 2-1, during a well-structured, second-period power play. But just under a minute later, Justin Schultz bagged the Kraken’ second goal. He wristed a shot in from the top of the right faceoff circle.

Schwartz got credit for his own goal, no mistaken identity concerns, when he put back a Beniers shot 1:16 into the third period. Four of Schwartz’s six goals this season have come on the power play, including the latest.

Again, the lead didn’t last. Forty-two seconds later, Arizona’s Clayton Keller tied the game at 3.

Joey Daccord made his first NHL start at the home of Arizona State, where he played three seasons. The Coyotes and Sun Devils both use the arena and each has a logo at center ice. Daccord finished with 25 saves.

Spokane’s Yamamoto promoted to top line

He’s played with some of the league’s biggest names on the top two lines in Edmonton. In Tuesday’s Game 13, Kraken offseason signing Kailer Yamamoto was given a look with Seattle’s own top trio.

“I think I can fit into any line with my game,” Yamamoto said before facing the Arizona Coyotes.

Tye Kartye was previously in that top-line role, one he’s familiar with, having assumed an injured Jared McCann’s place alongside Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle during the 2023 postseason. However after a few weeks this fall, Kartye was returned to the fourth line this week to be with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Devin Shore.

Yanni Gourde, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Eeli Tolvanen clicked back into place against Arizona, recently separated after spending the latter half of the 2022-23 campaign as the Kraken’s third line. They opened the scoring 40 seconds into Tuesday’s game.

Eberle moved down to the second line with Alex Wennberg and Jaden Schwartz, so Yamamoto tried his hand with McCann and Beniers, the latter of whom hadn’t scored through the first 12 games.

“I know they’re good at making those little plays, so (I’m) just trying to find those lanes for them,” Yamamoto said.

That trio’s shift midway through the first period resembled a power play and they were almost rewarded. A puck got past Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram and was swept to safety just before it crossed the goal line.

Beniers picked up two assists, but neither came with his usual linemates. Justin Schultz’s second-period goal came during an incomplete change and Jaden Schwartz’s third-period tally was on the power play.