The emotional charge of seeing their top scorer felled by a forearmed shot behind the action from their opponent’s star defenseman seemed to catapult the already surging Kraken to an entirely different level of play.
Jared McCann lying on the Climate Pledge Arena ice for several minutes Monday night after a shove and head slam off the glass by Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar provoked an aggressive anger rarely seen in the Kraken as they nearly ran the visiting Colorado Avalanche out of the rink. But as they have throughout the series, the Avalanche fought back to force overtime — where Jordan Eberle notched the 3-2 winner for the Kraken in sudden death to even the series and send the crowd into a frenzy the likes of which were not previously seen at any prior home games.
With the Kraken on an early overtime power play, Eberle slid a pass to Jaden Schwartz, whose goal mouth attempt was blocked. But the puck came back to Eberle, who wristed it behind Alexandar Georgiev at the three-minute mark of sudden death.
Elated Kraken players poured onto the ice for an emotional, signature franchise moment that evens the series 2-2 with Game 5 back in Colorado on Wednesday night.
Schwartz appeared to put the Kraken ahead with nine minutes to go in regulation, with the puck clearly crossing the line off a goal-mouth scramble. But after video review, it was ruled the whistle had gone before the puck crossed the line.
His team would amass a franchise record 51 hits and outshoot the visitors 39-21 in regulation.
Schwartz then got in alone early in overtime, but was tripped from behind by Josh Manson as he got the shot off — leading to the decisive power play.
The Kraken appeared in firm command of this one early on, leading by two on a pair of first-period goals by Will Borgen and then a power-play strike by Daniel Sprong after Makar was assessed a minor penalty for interference on his McCann hit. McCann didn’t return to action after being helped off the ice and Makar — who was initially assessed a five-minute major penalty quickly downgraded with no explanation by on-ice officials — was roundly booed by the crowd of 17,151 whenever he touched the puck the rest of the game.
But the Avalanche aren’t defending Stanley Cup champions for nothing and finally made a game of it with two Mikko Rantanen goals in the final six minutes of the second period. The first came off an odd-man rush in which a puck slid by Kraken forward Alex Wennberg right on to Rantanen’s stick for a one-timed blast behind Philipp Grubauer.
Then, a late penalty call on the Kraken was followed by a ferocious Avalanche push that led to Colorado’s first power-play goal of the series with just 50 seconds to go in the middle frame.
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