While some NHL teams have played four games already this season, including the Seattle Kraken, the St. Louis Blues are the lone team to have played just once.
The Blues, who opened with a 5-2 victory against visiting Columbus on Saturday by scoring three unanswered goals in the third period, will return to the ice Wednesday night in Seattle, opening a three-game trip that includes stops in Edmonton and Winnipeg.
“It’s an exciting time of year,” said defenseman Colton Parayko, who is set to play in his 500th game for the Blues. “It’s always fun to get a new (season) going and we’re looking forward to a good one.”
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for St. Louis, Pavel Buchnevich added a goal and an assist and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 23 saves in the opener.
The Blues’ Ivan Barbashev and Jake Neighbours tallied 20 seconds apart to spark the third-period rally.
“We were better in the third period,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Stronger on pucks and controlled the play a little bit more in the offensive zone and competed harder on things. Played the game the right way.”
The Blues won all three games against the expansion Kraken last season, outscoring them 11-2.
Kraken forward Jaden Schwartz, who spent the first 10 years of his career in St. Louis, missed all three meetings with the Blues last season because of injuries. This will be the first time he plays against his former team.
The Kraken opened the season by taking three of a possible four points on a Southern California swing to Anaheim and Los Angeles, but have struggled since returning home to Climate Pledge Arena.
They fell behind by five goals in a 5-2 loss to Vegas on Saturday, then dropped a 5-1 decision to Carolina on Monday.
Against Carolina, the Kraken fell behind early for the second straight game and never caught up.
“We have to find a way to bounce back earlier,” said forward Andre Burakovsky, who scored Seattle’s lone goal against the Hurricanes. “We’ve got to fight back. … I think we need to stay on top of what makes us successful and what makes us find ways to create offense.
“We’re four games in and this is still a new team, a lot of new guys. I think it’s up to every single individual to be at their best.”
The score was just 1-0 midway through the game before the Kraken allowed three goals in a span of 2:23, two on the power play.
Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said giving Carolina nearly four minutes with the man advantage due to a pair of high-sticking penalties was akin to “playing with fire.”
“You make mistakes against good teams when they put you under pressure and that’s going to come back to haunt you,” Hakstol said. “We took three minor penalties in a row but what led to the first one of those was a turnover and a poor track (of the errant puck) on that play. It’s little things that got us (Monday) and that’s what happens against good teams.”
–Field Level Media