The Kraken defeated the Avalanche in Game 7 to remove the reigning Stanley Cup champs. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI through Getty Images)
Just hours after the Florida Panthers pulled off an historic upset of the Boston Bruins, the Seattle Kraken took their flip knocking out one of many NHL’s juggernauts with a 2-1 Game 7 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday of their inaugural playoff sequence.
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored each objectives for the Kraken to ship the reigning Stanley Cup champions residence early, whereas Mikko Rantanen countered with the Avalanche’s lone tally.
Bjorkstrand was a power all night time, potting his two objectives lower than 4 minutes aside within the second interval. He had a number of further scoring possibilities all through the sport, ending with six photographs on objective whereas hitting the put up 3 times.
Seattle bought a fortunate break early within the third interval when Nathan MacKinnon appeared to attain the tying objective on a depraved one-timer. The marker was known as again after video evaluation clearly confirmed ahead Artturi Lehkonen was offside on Colorado’s entry into the offensive zone.
The Kraken will play the Dallas Stars — one other Central Division energy — within the second spherical.
Despite their underdog standing, the wild-card Kraken by no means appeared overmatched towards the Avalanche due to a deep ahead group and a few well timed goaltending from Philipp Grubauer. The veteran netminder considerably elevated his play on this sequence after an underwhelming 2022-23 marketing campaign wherein he posted an .895 save share in 39 video games.
Seattle was additionally in a position to overcome the lack of 40-goal man and main scorer Jared McCann, who was knocked out of the sequence after a controversial hit from star Colorado defenseman Cale Makar in Game 4. Makar was suspended one recreation for that hit.
For the Avalanche, the Game 7 defeat marked the conclusion of an up-and-down marketing campaign that finally resulted in disappointment. MacKinnon and Co. began the season with a whimper and struggled to seek out consistency till the calendar flipped to 2023. They sat at 20-17-3 on Jan. 12 earlier than a six-game win streak turned their season round. They additionally entered the playoffs on a tear, successful 16 of their last 19 contests to earn the Central Division crown.
Colorado notably performed your entire season with out captain Gabriel Landeskog, who underwent knee surgical procedure in October. Jared Bednar’s group was additionally lacking Valeri Nichushkin for almost all of the first-round sequence after the winger was reportedly concerned in an incident involving police on the workforce’s Seattle resort.
Veterans Josh Manson, Darren Helm and Andrew Cogliano had been different Avalanche regulars sidelined for elements of the sequence.