EVERETT — It took more than 59 minutes, but the Seattle Kraken finally gave the sellout crowd at Angel of the Winds Arena a reason to cheer.
The NHL’s newest expansion team came to town Friday night for a preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers, and the Kraken produced a thrilling finish, winning 2-1 in overtime to send the fans home happy.
Jaden Schwartz scored with just 57.8 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the score 1-1 and force overtime. Then Jared McCann scored on the power play in overtime to win it for Seattle (3-1 preseason).
Brendan Perlini scored for Edmonton (2-1-1).
It was the second time in Angel of the Winds’ 18-year history that an NHL preseason game took place at the arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in Everett in September of 2009.
Edmonton played a lineup that was well below full strength, with superstar forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl among those who were scratched. Meanwhile, the Kraken played a lineup that is close to what is expected for the regular season opener on Oct. 12 at Vegas. When the teams met Tuesday in Edmonton, the Oilers dressed a stronger lineup that included McDavid and Draisaitl and prevailed 6-0.
For 59 minutes the Kraken were stymied by Edmonton goaltender Stuart Skinner. But following a late timeout Seattle finally found the breakthrough. With the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker, Mark Giordano wristed a shot from the center point that Schwartz tipped past Skinner to knot it at 1-1 and force a three-on-three overtime period.
Then in OT, Haydn Fleury drew a penalty while driving the net, giving Seattle a power play. Late in the power play Jordan Eberle fed McCann in the right circle, and McCann blew a one-timer into the far-upper corner to win it for the Kraken.
There were no goals during the first period. The Seattle duo of Schwartz and Eberle was everywhere when the teams were at even strength. But the Kraken spent much of the period on the penalty kill, with Edmonton getting all three of the period’s advantages. Seattle killed those penalties well to keep it scoreless.
The Kraken controlled play early in the second period, but it was the Oilers who found the net first. Off a faceoff win in the Seattle zone, Edmonton defenseman Slater Koekkoek took a slap shot that was tipped by Perlini in the high slot and found the top corner to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. Seattle had good chances on a late power play, but Skinner made some good saves and it remained 1-0 heading into the third.