It must have been electric inside the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena Sunday. The Seattle Kraken, playing its first-ever game, and against what will likely be its main rival, the Vancouver Canucks.
The Kraken rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win its debut, 5-3. It was reminiscent of 2017 when the Vegas Golden Knights traveled to Vancouver for their first-ever game and trounced the Canucks, 9-4. So the Canucks have the dubious distinction of having been on the losing end for not one but two expansion teams making their initial foray on the ice.
There was some weirdness too in San Jose as the Sharks split their team in two, took to the road in Vegas and Anaheim and came out of it with a split. The Sharks lost to the Ducks, 6-3, but had better luck on the Las Vegas Strip, beating the Golden Knights, 4-2. As a bonus, the Sharks also won a postgame shootout, 2-1 as the teams agreed beforehand to hold the “skills competition.”
All in all, a good day in the South Bay.
The loss was especially painful for Vegas as its captain Mark Stone took a puck to the side of his head in the first period and didn’t return. It was a scary moment as Stone stayed down on the ice for a couple of minutes after Brayden McNabb’s shot was deflected and caught Stone. He didn’t return, required some stitches and if there’s good news from the incident, coach Peter DeBoer said he didn’t believe the injury was serious. The Knights also lost McNabb and Shea Theodore to third-period injuries, the status of which was unknown after the game.
The Golden Knights have Monday off so we won’t know the availability of the trio for Tuesday’s preseason game against the Colorado Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena until after the morning skate.
From the National Hockey Now Network:
VancouverHockeyNow: Rob Simpson has the Canucks’ side of things after their preseason opening loss to the Kraken.
FloridaHockeyNow: The preseason is full of strange occurrences. Different rinks. Different rules. Certainly different players only a hardcore fan would recognize. The Florida Panthers played a doubleheader Sunday against the Nashville Predators and colleague George Richards writes about the Cats’ sweep of the Preds.
DetroitHockeyNow: Would anyone in their right mind bet on the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup this year? Didn’t think so. But Bob Duff said in what is a fun read that there are options for those willing to make a wager that could pay off, even if the Wings fall short of hoisting the Cup.
PittsburghHockeyNow: Defenseman Marcus Pettersson wants to live up to the multi-year deal he signed with the Penguins last season. Our Dan Kingerski got the dope on the Swede and he also shared news on Zach Aston-Reese’s raise.
BostonHockeyNow: The preseason is a chance for players to improve their stock and veteran defenseman John Moore is hoping to do just that and earn a spot on the Bruins’ blueline. The B’s started exhibition play on the right skate with a 3-2 shootout win on the road at Washington.
WashingtonHockeyNow: Yes, the Caps dropped their preseason opener to the Bruins. But Sammi Silber said it wasn’t total loss.
NYIHockeyNow: There was plenty of good to come out of the Islanders’ 4-0 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden Sunday. Christian Arnold has his five takeaways from the Isles’ dominating performance.