The Seattle Kraken won their first ever playoff NHL game in style on Tuesday night, taking out the defending champion Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series at Ball Arena.
It was a triumphant 3-1 victory for the Kraken, who stifled the high-flying Avalanche offense all night while getting great goaltending from former Colorado netminder Phillip Grubauer in the process.
“Grubauer was great tonight,” Kraken forward Yanni Gourde said, according to the Associated Press. “He made the saves, and we were able to clean up what was in front of us. He was a stud back there. Good to see him there.”
The Kraken jumped on the Avalanche early, scoring just 3:26 into the first period on a nice Eeli Tolvanen snipe and never looking back, en route to the Game 1 win.
“Obviously, we played a good game, getting the first franchise win in the playoffs. But right now this is Game 1,” Kraken forward Alexander Wennberg explained. “Obviously, we are happy about this performance, but we've got to do it again and do it again.”
It's the right attitude for a Seattle team that is no pushover: they won 46 games and eclipsed the 100-point mark in just their second full NHL season in 2022-23. Wennberg scored the game-winning goal and added an assist to lead the way for the blue and white.
Although there is still significant question as to whether the Kraken can win three more games against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the 28-year-old Swede has faith.
“It comes down to the belief in the group right here,” Wennberg said. “Everyone is going to have an opinion about the way we play now, but the focus is always going to be on us. We have a belief in this group.”
Game 2 between the Kraken and Avalanche is set for Thursday night.