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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kraken still can’t find first win, fall to Blues in shootout

By Kate Shefte Seattle Times

ST. LOUIS – Joey Daccord made 25 saves in his season debut and the Seattle Kraken penalty kill finished off four more attempts, holding St. Louis back until the shootout. There the Blues’ Robert Thomas secured a 2-1 win Saturday night at Enterprise Center.

The Kraken (0-2-1) have a single standings point to their name heading into their home opener Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche.

In overtime, the Kraken circled like a team that didn’t go winless in four shootout attempts last season. Jordan Eberle, the only player to watch his move work last season (once in four attempts), went last in hopes of tying the shootout and was stopped.

Matty Beniers and Oliver Bjorkstrand were also turned aside in the shootout.

Coach Dave Hakstol went with Daccord, who just won the backup goaltender job after two stellar seasons in the American Hockey League, over Philipp Grubauer, who started the first two games. Grubauer made 56 saves, but received almost no goal support.

The Kraken had their apparent first goal called back. Defenseman Vince Dunn, who won the Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019, saw his goal overturned after a quick review that determined St. Louis netminder Jordan Binnington was interfered with.

The other member of the Blues’ championship team working for the other side, Kraken winger Jaden Schwartz, got them on the board permanently after six scoreless Seattle periods. He scored the first power-play goal of the season on a tip of a Bjorkstrand shot during carry-over time from a first-period man advantage. It was the only Blues penalty of the game.

Daccord looked jumpy on his first save less than a minute in, but settled quickly. He ventured well out of the net – as is his way – to send the puck sailing down the ice during a midperiod penalty kill.

“We know he likes to pay the puck,” Dunn said before the game. “Letting him do his thing back there … I think when he’s making plays with the puck, he’s feeling himself. Making the big saves.

“As far as breaking the puck out, that makes it a lot easier as a D-man sometimes. To have him being a third option for us, it makes things a lot easier, quicker.”

There’s a risk that comes with that boldness. Jake Neighbours later nearly stripped Daccord of the puck behind the net for an easy goal deposit, but his Seattle defensemen helped him recover. A similar, scary moment happened in overtime.

With one last booming shot block from Jamie Oleksiak, the Kraken penalty kill finished off another bid. By the end of the third period, the PK’s run to start the season improved to 11-for-11.

The Kraken threw everything they could muster at Binnington during the first period but had 13 shots blocked. Dragging a defender, Yanni Gourde centered and put a shot on net. The fourth line also had two good chances. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was one of the players who saw his shot blocked and sail into the netting. Tye Kartye ripped a shot into Binnington’s armpit from close range. Then an incomplete line change had Bjorkstrand out there with Kartye and Bellemare, and the latter two poked at the puck in the crease before Binnington smothered it.

With their eyes on an equalizer after Schwartz scored, St. Louis’ Nick Leddy then Jakub Vrana took aim at Daccord. He turned both bids aside. Third time was the charm, though, as Jordan Kyrou and Thomas played catch and Kyrou ripped one past Daccord from the slot.