New dog, new day, new way to win, 3-2 shootout over Chicago


Chicago Blackhawks v Seattle Kraken

Photo: Getty Images

A four month old husky mix on Monday entered Climate Pledge Arena, on a leash, finding no problems with socializing among the sellout crowd at Climate Pledge Arena on a day that presented new opportunity.

Perhaps it was a doggone good day to end a winless skid.

Joonas Donskoi, burying a slick shootout winner on Marc-Andre Fleury in the third round, catapulted the Seattle Kraken to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks before a sold out crowd at Climate Pledge Arena, capping a Monday matinee comeback for the first win in team history when trailing after two periods.

"Davy Jones" was announced by the Kraken during the game as their official team dog adopted through Dog Gone Seattle, serving as a therapy dog-in-training to appear routinely at Kraken games, practices and future events.

Donskoi didn't even play coy when connecting good fortune with a new team canine.

"Absolutely, every team needs a puppy," said Donskoi. "He's pretty cute too, I don't think that's a coincidence."

Donskoi, who has hit double digit goal marks in each of his last four seasons but is still searching for his first official goal of the season (shootout goals aren't counted in NHL statistics), perhaps found a springboard moment when he glided through the middle, in the shootout's third round and feathered a smooth wrister over the glove of Fleury.

"We earned it today," said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. "We earned it through the 60 minutes, overtime, and the poise to make plays - both (Philipp Grubauer), and the guys in the shootout scoring goals."

"That comes from the full body of work to small areas of the game, where the PK gets the job done in a key situation, answering with a couple of goals to tie the game and come back."

Donskoi's snipe broke a drought of nine Kraken games without a win, 0-8-1, removing Dec. 14 at San Jose as the last Kraken win.

"That felt really good," said Donskoi. "Everybody had been wanting to win a long time now, so going to overtime and a shootout, everybody wanted to get the win out of the way."

"Massive win."

Ryan Donato made the comeback possible with a jammed rebound goal in the third period, tying the game, and added a second round shootout goal on Fleury.

"There's not much to it," said Donato on Kraken Audio Network postgame coverage. "I'm relying on hockey sense and at the end of the day you can't overthink it, it's a breakaway in a shootout. I've been lucky enough to go against some pretty good goalies."

Fleury and Philipp Grubauer (winner with 25 saves) traded saves in the first period to preserve a scoreless tie, and Dominik Kubalik's icebreaking goal at 12:06 of the second period was answered by Vince Dunn point blast that tied the score with 4:59 left in the period.

Dunn also earned the goal crossing a milestone, playing in the 300th game of his NHL career.

Penalty issues late in the second period cost the Kraken as Brandon Hagel finished a power play goal with 2:53 left for a 2-1 lead. But the Kraken responded with Donato's goal at 2:02 of the third, and nearly swiped the game when Jared McCann was awarded a penalty shot with 6:26 left in regulation, but was stopped by Fleury's right pad.

The Kraken outshot the Blackhawks 5-0 in overtime and Grubauer stopped both Blackhawks bids in the shootout.

Thursday is the third game of the homestand when the Kraken host the San Jose Sharks at 7pm (950 KJR / Kraken Audio Network).


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