The San Jose Sharks had a date with history tonight. The Seattle Kraken found themselves in uncharted waters with the Sharks and survived to give the Emerald City their first-ever victory in the Bay.
In a tight contest, the Sharks found themselves in a clean, back and forth hockey for most of the game. So clean, that the third whistle of the game came almost 15 minutes after the second stoppage, making this one of the fastest first periods in Sharks franchise history.
Sharks goaltender James Reimer and Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger held the scoreboard hostage with goose eggs for two periods, but not without a little help from the defense. A "save of the year" candidate comes courtesy of the stick of Seattle's Adam Larsson, who robbed Matt Nieto from becoming the first Shark to score against the Kraken. Nieto made a clean stride across the crease to bury the puck in the open net, only to watch the tape on Larsson's stick safely cradle the puck at the goal line.
In the third period, the Kraken broke the tie with a line that featured former Sharks Ryan Donato, Joonas Donskoi, and Alexander True. Donato recorded Seattle's first franchise goal against San Jose, assisted by Donskoi and Carson Soucy, but upon further review, it was clearly the result of Radim Simek's skate deflecting the puck past Reimer. The unfortunate tally was not frowned upon by Coach Bob Boughner, who mentioned that Simek was simply doing what was expected of him in the post-game press conference, but the own-goal definitely overshadowed his overall performance of 11 hits in the game - a new San Jose Sharks franchise record.
Seattle's Brandon Tanev, famous for his wide-eyed player profile pics, put to rest any commentary of undeserved goals, by sweeping the goal into the net from the slot on a pass from Morgan Geekie, giving the Kraken an insurance goal and a commanding 2-0 lead.
In the first-ever match with the newest franchise in the National Hockey League, the Sharks were held scoreless for over 57 minutes of hockey before the Sharks pulled the goalie and Captain Logan Couture scored a late goal to prevent Seattle from recording their first-ever shutout in franchise history. The two-minute rally wasn't enough to tie the game and force overtime, despite their being a couple of chances for San Jose, and Seattle scored on the empty net with seconds left to earn their first win in Shark City.
The Sharks will face the Vancouver Canucks in the next two home games, assuming the league doesn't cancel any of their games due to health and safety protocols. Other Sharks news of note today include Kevin Labanc, who left the last game injured and may potentially need surgery. The Sharks are also cutting ties with Joel Kellman, who was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.