Breaking out: Jordan Eberle's clutch winner beats the Ducks

Seattle Kraken v Anaheim Ducks

Photo: Getty Images

Ryan Donato scored two goals by the end of 40 minutes. Jordan Eberle had none. 

In fact, it had been awhile since Eberle had scored at all – 22 straight games. 

That’s when Donato had an idea. 

“I have this rosary my dad gave me,” he said. 

A gift from his father, Ted, which was blessed in the town of Medjugorje, near the city of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was offered from Donato to Eberle for a second intermission touch after Eberle was left flabbergasted of his scoring chances coming up empty. 

Nearly 20 minutes later, Eberle banged in his first goal in 23 games, a stunning game winner set up by Riley Sheahan’s saucer pass with 1:48 to play for a clutch 4-3 Seattle Kraken win over the Anaheim Ducks, Friday at Honda Center. 

“That’s insane,” Eberle told Donato, arriving back at the bench. 

Eberle’s game winner gave the Kraken their first win in franchise history over Anaheim, who came up empty in their first game out of the All-Star break and had a 4-0-2 streak snapped. Donato earned his second multi-goal effort of the season, and his 11 goals are now three off his career-high, set two years ago in Minnesota. 

“Guys stepped up,” said Donato. “That’s what happens when guys step up and do the right things.” 

With Eberle stepping up, his slump had come to an end, optimistic of the future. 

“One of the longer slumps of my career,” said Eberle, wearing Yanni Gourde’s hooded sweatshirt after the game “Eventually they go in and seem to go in bunches. Just want to keep trying to create as much as I can.”  

The Kraken wasted no time getting on the board, two minutes in on Donato’s one-timer set up by new Kraken forward Austin Czarnik. A fight between Jamie Oleksiak and Nic Deslauriers sparked a Ducks goal by Isac Lundestrom (two goals) to tie the score 12 seconds later, but Vince Dunn roofed his sixth goal at 14:41. 

Lundestrom’s second goal of the game and a power play goal by Rickard Rakell gave Anaheim a short-lived lead in the second period before Donato tied the game, 6:25 left in the second period on a sizzling snap shot past John Gibson. 

“Hard fought all the way through,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “Biggest thing, we got back to our competitiveness.”  

Goaltender Chris Driedger snapped a string of five straight losses with 24 saves.

The Kraken, coming back home for a Saturday Skills Showcase exhibition at Climate Pledge Arena (3pm) and a Monday 6pm matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs, improved to 7-4-2 when tied after two periods. 

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