Eberle, Kraken strike late to beat Ducks 4-3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jordan Eberle scored with 1:42 remaining to give the Seattle Kraken a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
Ryan Donato had two goals and Vince Dunn scored for the Kraken, who have won consecutive road games for the second time. Chris Dreidger made 24 saves.
“We didn’t necessarily have a great effort against Arizona, so we needed to come back,” said Eberle, referencing a 5-2 home loss to the Coyotes on Wednesday. “It’s just a big road win, and I think if we can get back to the way we were playing before the break, much like tonight, it’ll be different in the second half for this club.”
Isac Lundestrom scored twice and Rickard Rakell had a power-play goal, but the Ducks lost in their return from the All-Star break to end a 4-0-2 run. John Gibson made 23 saves, and Jamie Drysdale had two assists.
“I thought it was even,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “We had good execution mostly throughout. We had a bit of a brain cramp on the last goal, a couple of them, and it cost us the game.”
Eberle and Riley Sheahan caught Anaheim in a 2-on-1 rush, with Eberle scoring his 13th goal to get the win in a feisty affair. He ended a run of 22 games without a goal, and the relief was visible on Eberle’s face.
“This is definitely, I mean, one of the longer slumps of my career. Probably is the longest,” Eberle said. “I’ve played in this league a long time. You’re going to have times where the puck’s not going in. … Eventually they go in, and then they always seem to come in bunches, so just want to keep creating as much as I can.”
Eakins lamented the ease at which the Ducks allowed the Kraken to break through their ranks, with all five skaters displaying lackadaisical effort at best.
“A great reminder that every moment is critical in the game,” Eakins said. “We got to understand the clock, and we just can never let off our game, and we did that on that last goal.”
Lundestrom tied it up 2-all at 5:34 of the second, racing into the offensive zone with Derek Grant off a timely change as Troy Terry’s forecheck forced a turnover. Lundestrom chipped Grant’s pass on net where it hit the post and bounced in off Dreidger.
Rakell put the Ducks ahead 3-2 three minutes later, tipping Drysdale’s shot from the blue line as he was alone in front of Dreidger setting a screen from just outside the crease. Rakell scored for the third straight game.
Donato evened things up 3-all with 6:25 left in the second, burying a wrist shot from the high slot after Anaheim defenseman Josh Mahura’s pass went off referee Justin St. Pierre and was grabbed by Yanni Gourde.
The Kraken went in front two minutes into the game when Donato fired a blistering slap shot on a one-timer from Austin Czarnik, who made his debut for Seattle after being claimed off waivers from the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
Donato ended his own lengthy scoring drought, having picked up one goal in his previous 14 games.
“For me, I just try to stay levelheaded and not really worry about that and try to do all the small things right,” he said.
The Ducks responded 12 seconds later to tie it up 1-all. Lundestrom scored into an open net from the slot set up by Jakob Silfverberg’s backhand pass, with the 22-year-old Swede reaching 10 goals for the first time in his career.
Seattle took a 2-1 lead when Dunn scored his sixth goal with 5:19 left in the first. With bodies concentrated on the right side of the ice, Gourde found Dunn alone in the left circle.
“As much as you’re crossing your fingers and you’ve practiced hard, that’s a long time to be off,” Eakins said. “They had the luxury of already having a game underneath their belt. I liked our effort, but we don’t like the result.”
START ME UP
The Ducks’ quick response to the opening goal followed a lengthy and even fight between Anaheim F Nicolas Deslauriers and Seattle D Jamie Oleksiak off the face-off following Donato’s 10th goal. “I think that was one of the best fights I’ve seen, for sure, in a long time,” Eberle said.
An animated Deslauriers bellowed “Let’s go” to his bench following the scrap, and it had the intended result with Lundestrom’s immediate reply.
FIGHT OR FLIGHT
Ducks C Trevor Zegras had an assist, giving the electric rookie 33 points through 43 games. He also took a hard slash to the back of his right knee from Dunn late in the third period after they went at it to each draw roughing penalties. Eakins didn’t have a problem with Zegras standing up for himself.
“I guess there is a time to stake away to maybe grab the power play and there’s a time to stick up for yourself. That young man is gonna get run at and he’s gonna get sticked, and I think it’s important for him to turn back sometimes and let them know he’s not going to accept that,” Eakins said.
NOTES: Gourde had two assists. … Oleksiak returned after missing nine games because of a lower-body injury. … Ducks F Sonny Milano played for the first time since Jan. 14. He missed eight games because of an upper-body injury. … Ducks C Sam Carrick missed the game for the birth of his second child.
Kraken: Host Toronto on Monday night.
Ducks: At Calgary on Wednesday night.
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