Kuhlman scores in third period, Kraken defeat Avalanche
DENVER — Karson Kuhlman scored the go-ahead goal at 12:06 of the third period, and the Seattle Kraken defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at Ball Arena on Friday.
Kuhlman drove past Kurtis MacDermid on the right side and slid the puck five-hole on Francouz for the 3-2 final. It was his first goal of the season.
“I think it starts with a good wall play there,” Kuhlman said. “[Jaden Schwartz] makes a good play, putting the puck into space, lets me skate into it. He was kind of draped on me there. I usually like to get that puck to the far post, kind of beat the goalie over there, but saw a little opening and was able to put it in the net.”
Schwartz and Jared McCann each had a goal and an assist for the Kraken (2-2-2). Philipp Grubauer made 17 saves but left the game at 10:17 of the third because of an undisclosed injury. Martin Jones made one save in relief.
“We played a rock solid 60 minutes,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “We were confident from the drop of the puck. We knew they’d have a little push in their home building, and they did in the first couple of shifts, but we settled things down. We played a real good 60 minutes.”
Bowen Byram had a goal and an assist, and Evan Rodrigues scored for the Avalanche (2-2-1), who have lost their past two games (0-1-1). Pavel Francouz made 35 saves.
“Sloppy. Poor execution really the whole night,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “That’s why we didn’t get any shots. Tough to get shots when you can’t execute. … Sloppy. Spent the whole night defending.”
Schwartz gave the Kraken a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 1:38 of the second period when he one-timed Jordan Eberle‘s feed in the slot.
McCann scored 22 seconds later when he poked in a loose puck in front at 2:00 after Francouz was unable to clear it out of the zone to make it 2-0.
“He’s an aggressive goalie, so I thought he was going to come out a little bit more and I was just going to float it into the top corner there,” McCann said. “But he stayed kind of back into his net and made a great read.”
Rodrigues scored his first goal with the Avalanche at 5:55 when he one-timed a feed from Valeri Nichushkin to make it 2-1.
“It’s not the result we wanted, but good to get that one out of the way and hopefully they can start piling [up] now,” Rodrigues said.
Byram tied it 2-2 at 6:58 of the third when he scored short-handed on a 3-on-2 rush from the top of the right face-off circle.
“I did get to score a goal, but at the end of the day, we’re just not playing good enough to win right now,” Byram said. “There’s a lot more that goes into the game than scoring. I feel like I didn’t have my best game, so I’m not too worried about that right now.”
Grubauer left the game at the next television timeout and was replaced by Jones.
“He [said something didn’t feel right] right after the goal, and then obviously the next whistle he went down the tunnel,” Hakstol said. “I don’t have [an update] for you right now.”
NOTES: Kraken forward Andre Burakovsky, who won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche last season, was honored with a video tribute. … Jones was credited with his 200th NHL win in his 400th game. … Colorado played without defenseman Devon Toews because of an undisclosed injury. His status for the game Saturday at the Vegas Golden Knights is uncertain. … Byram’s short-handed goal was his first in the NHL.