Bjorkstrand's OT goal gives Kraken 5-4 win over Red Wings
By LARRY LAGE
DETROIT (AP) Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his second goal on a power play with 1:27 left in overtime, lifting the Seattle Kraken to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
Jared McCann also had two goals for the Kraken, scoring twice in the opening 12 minutes and giving him a career-high 29 goals. Jaden Schwartz also had a goal for Seattle.
The Red Wings, seemingly conceding they won't make the playoffs for the first time since 2016, dealt a pair of key players in the two days leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Friday.
The Kraken, in their second NHL season, are on pace to make its first postseason appearance as a Western Conference wild card or as one of the top three teams in the Pacific Division.
"This is a fun time of year to play hockey when you are looking at the standings and you're trying to make a push to get into the postseason in Year Two," said forward Jordan Eberle, who had two assists. "A lot of these guys are from the foundation, which is a lot of fun as well.
"I don't think many people expect us to make the jump we've made."
Martin Jones gave up three goals on 12 shots and was benched late in the second period and replaced by Philipp Grubauer, who finished regulation with 16 saves.
"We felt like we kind of gave the goalies a tough time," McCann said.
Detroit's Ville Husso made 31 saves through three periods, including one with 7:20 left in regulation after Bjorkstrand's shot went off and over the goaltender and bounced around the crease before he smothered it to keep the game tied.
"It was a weird bounce," Bjorkstrand said. "It would have been nice if that went in, but it was nice to get the one in OT."
The Red Wings rallied recently to get into contention for an Eastern Conference wild card spot, but a three-game losing streak over the last week led to general manager Steve Yzerman deciding to trade players for picks instead of possibly adding help to make an aggressive push to end a seven-year playoff drought.
Detroit dealt forward Tyler Bertuzzi to Boston for first- and fourth-round picks on Thursday, a day after dealing defenseman Filip Hronek to Vancouver for first- and second-round picks.
"It was an emotional morning," coach Derek Lalonde said. "I think guys were taken by surprise a little, but you can never predict the trade deadline. I give our guys credit for fighting through that."
While signaling that rebuild is very much still in progress, the team signed captain Dylan Larkin to an eight-year contract worth nearly $70 million and signed defenseman Jake Walman to a three-year, $10.2 million this week.
Walman's sixth goal of the season pulled the Red Wings into a 4-all tie with 5:12 left in the second period..
Detroit recalled physical forward Adam Erne from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins earlier in the day and he tried to provide an immediate jolt of energy for his disheartened teammates, getting in a fight with Yanni Goude a minute into the game.
McCann, though, scored his first of two goals 12 seconds later to extend his points streak to four games. His second goal gave the Kraken a 3-1 lead midway through the opening period.
Ben Chiarot and Erne also scored for the Red Wings, who have lost four in a row to hurt their chances of earning a spot in the postseason.
"Every game for us is a playoff game," Walman said. "Stuff happens outside the rink that we can't control, but we just have to keep playing hard."
Kraken: Play at Columbus on Friday.
Red Wings: Visit the New York Islanders on Saturday.
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Updated March 2, 2023