Wed, 25 May 2022

Philipp Grubauer on a roll, leads Kraken against Predators

Field Level Media
25 Jan 2022, 12:05 GMT+10

Sometimes, when the going gets tough, it just takes a trip to a comfortable spot or a familiar face to get back on track.

At least, that seems to have worked for Philipp Grubauer.

The Seattle Kraken's big signing before their inaugural season ranked near the bottom of the NHL's goaltending statistics before a trip two weeks ago to Colorado, where he was a Vezina Trophy finalist.

Facing his former teammates, Grubauer played well in a 4-3 defeat.

"We didn't get the win," Grubauer said that night. "But personally we can, or I can, build on a game like that for sure."

Fast-forward to the present and Grubauer has won three starts in a row heading into Tuesday night's game against the visiting Nashville Predators.

Grubauer made 28 saves Sunday and Mason Appleton had a goal and assist as the Kraken defeated the Florida Panthers 5-3, sweeping the two-game series against the team tied for the most points in the league.

"We were much more (consistent)," said Kraken forward Yanni Gourde, who also scored a goal. "When a team is committed to playing like that, we're tough to beat for 60 minutes. Grubi was excellent. Everyone was committed to winning this game. That's what we did (Sunday), and we have to do that every night."

It was the third victory in the past four games for the Kraken, following a nine-game skid (0-8-1).

Grubauer was at his best in the third period, when he stopped all 12 shots he faced.

"The biggest thing (about Grubauer) that I see, is being able to shrug off a goal against and move on to the next save, and that's really important," Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. "That's what it takes to win in the league, you need those saves. When you add it up at the end of those nights, you see those saves."

The Predators have won two in a row, including a 4-1 victory Saturday against visiting Detroit when Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist.

"We did a good job of staying patient and we were able to power through to get the win," Duchene said.

Filip Forsberg added a goal and an assist and Juuse Saros made 28 saves, helping the Predators kill off five Detroit power plays.

"I think this was our seventh game in 12 nights, so I'm really proud of how the guys came out strong and were able to grind this one out," Predators coach John Hynes said. "As the league continues to get harder and you come down the stretch here ... it's important for us (to keep playing this way).

"We feel like we have a talented team offensively when we play the right way, but as we continue to go through, you have to be solid defensively and you have to make sure that you're paying attention to details. To the guys' credit they've done that the last couple games."

This won't be the first matchup between the Predators and Kraken.

Nashville played host to the newcomers in its season opener Oct. 14, with Seattle coming away with a 4-3 victory, the first in franchise history. Brandon Tanev scored twice for the Kraken, but has since undergone season-ending knee surgery.

--Field Level Media

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