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Johansson scores in 7th round of shootout, lifts Kraken past Canadiens 4-3

Seattle Kraken’s Marcus Johansson scores against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault during NHL shootout hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, March 12, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — Kraken players were quick to forgive the mistake that nearly cost Seattle the victory.

Up 3-1 going into the third, the Kraken blew their two-goal lead against the Montreal Canadiens on a bad mistake late in the period.

Adam Larsson scored in his own net with 2:12 to go in regulation to tie things at 3-3. But the Kraken held on in overtime and Marcus Johansson scored the game-winner after seven shootout rounds to grab a 4-3 win Saturday night.

“(Expletive) happens, you know, it's hockey. Sorry about my language but it's just the way it goes,” said Jared McCann about Larsson’s mistake. “He tried to make a play and everybody saw that so we were there for him. He's done a lot of great things for us this year so we just stuck with them. It was good to get this win for him.” 

Head coach Dave Hakstol was glad to see his team rally for the win despite allowing a costly late goal. 

“Good play by them to get the puck to the net but it goes off our stick and the tying goal goes in the back of the net,” Hakstol said. “That gives us every opportunity to shrink from the moment and I didn’t think we did that.”

Yanni Gourde, Ryan Donato and McCann scored for Seattle (18-37-6) in regulation. In addition to his shootout winner, Johansson picked up two assists. Philipp Grubauer allowed three goals from 33 shots.

The Kraken snapped a four-game winless streak and ended an arduous five-game East Coast road trip with three points in their last two games. 

“I don’t think we got deflated at any point in time,” Hakstol said. “The tying goal goes off our stick and if you start adding it up it’s a little bit how the way things have gone for our team on this road trip. We played pretty good hockey and we’ve come out on the wrong end of things and tonight’s just another one of those scenarios.” 

Michael Pezzetta, Alexander Romanov and Nick Suzuki scored for Montreal (15-35-8). Samuel Montembeault made 32 saves.

Despite the loss, interim coach Martin St. Louis was happy with his team’s fight to overcome a 3-1 deficit. The Canadiens remain last in the NHL but St. Louis believes his side plays inspired hockey. 

“I think the boys feel pretty good about their game and so do I,” St. Louis said. “Sometimes, you don’t know if you’re gonna get the goals or if you’re gonna get the key saves but overall we’re in every game and I think the boys see that.” 

Joel Edmundson played his first game since the 2021 Stanley Cup final. The defenceman had been on the shelf with a lower-back injury ever since but logged 17:10 of ice time Saturday. He later confirmed he will not play in the second of back-to-back games away to the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday.

“I felt like I was playing quite a bit and I felt like I was comfortable out there,” he said. “But as for tomorrow’s game, I think the doctors just figured that it’s my first game all season and they don’t want me to travel and play back-to-back so that was a doctor’s decision.” 

The Kraken broke the ice on the penalty kill on an awkward play involving Gourde and Chris Wideman. Montembeault left the puck for his defenceman but Gourde’s body check made him score in his own net. Gourde was credited with the short-handed goal.

Pezzetta levelled the score with 5:10 to go in the first period. From the high slot, he bounced a pass from Jake Evans off his skate and beat Grubauer.

Seattle regained its lead two minutes later when Johansson’s shot bounced off the boards and onto Donato’s stick. The centreman didn’t miss his opportunity to score his 13th goal of the season.

McCann notched his 23rd marker of the campaign on the power play at 15:05 of the second period when he was left alone in the high slot. The winger one-timed Johansson’s pass from the corner giving the Kraken a two-goal advantage.

Montreal responded at 1:04 of the third period when Romanov grabbed a loose puck at the point and beat Grubauer with a slap shot.

The Habs tied the game with 2:12 to go in regulation when Larsson redirected Suzuki’s pass into his own net.

After a scoreless overtime and six rounds of the shootout, Johansson finally found the winning goal and left the Bell Centre under a rain of boos.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2022.

Tristan D'Amours, The Canadian Press

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