Leon Draisaitl scores his 30th goal, Stuart Skinner makes 24 saves as Oilers top Kraken 2-1 | Hockey - Hindustan Times
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Leon Draisaitl scores his 30th goal, Stuart Skinner makes 24 saves as Oilers top Kraken 2-1

AP |
Mar 03, 2024 09:13 AM IST

Leon Draisaitl scores his 30th goal, Stuart Skinner makes 24 saves as Oilers top Kraken 2-1

SEATTLE (AP) — Stuart Skinner answered every test thrown his way. The ones that came early on when Edmonton's goalie was still finding his way into the game, and especially those he turned away in a frantic final minute.

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Skinner made 24 saves, Leon Draisaitl scored his 30th goal of the season off the league-leading 73rd assist from Connor McDavid, and the Oilers held off the Seattle Kraken 2-1 on Saturday.

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Brett Kulak scored early in the third period for what proved to be the winning goal, but it was Skinner's performance that ensured a third straight win for the Oilers.

“I definitely felt good. Felt good right off the bat,” Skinner said. “I got into the game pretty quickly. I think their first two chances were pretty good ones and when you stop both of them you tend to feel a little bit better about the night.”

Skinner helped Edmonton keep the pressure on Vegas for second place in the Pacific Division and swept all four games in the season series with Seattle.

Edmonton has won six straight against the Kraken and is 9-2-0 against them since Seattle joined the NHL.

Draisaitl's goal came midway through the second period, but Kulak provided the winner 8:02 into the third period. Kulak’s shot from near the blue line appeared to take a slight deflection and beat Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer.

“It always feels good contributing that way. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when you see one go in it feels good,” Kulak said. “It was a tight game. It was close. There wasn’t too many goals happening and it proved to be a big one.”

Kulak’s goal came after another big save from Skinner, who continued to be a problem the Kraken can’t solve. Skinner has won seven of his nine career starts against Seattle, including all four games this season.

Skinner got some luck early in the first period when Justin Schultz’s shot hit the post and stayed out. He was otherwise solid, making key saves on Jordan Eberle early in the game, Tomas Tatar late in the second period and a big stop on Seattle goal leader Jared McCann early in the third.

Eeli Tolvanen scored his 15th of the season on a power play with 6:37 remaining to end Skinner’s shutout bid on a puck thrown to the front of the net and deflected past the Edmonton goalie.

Seattle had one final chance on a 6-on-4 opportunity with the net empty after Draisaitl was called for a penalty with 53 seconds left. However, Skinner made a series of big saves in the closing seconds, including another denial of Eberle to preserve the victory.

“I got a little bit fortunate with getting a little bit of time to get back to my feet and then being able to get across on Eberle, I think that was that was a really big moment for myself,” Skinner said.

Grubauer made 22 saves for Seattle coming off his first shutout of the season two days earlier against Pittsburgh.

Seattle was overall pleased with its performance, but the regulation loss could end up being the final blow in the Kraken’s attempts to stay in the Western Conference wild-card race and could lead to some moves ahead of next Friday’s trade deadline.

“It’s frustrating obviously when you only score one goal,” Seattle's Jaden Schwartz said. "Need results this time of the year. Obviously, could have gone either way.”

UP NEXT

Oilers: Host Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Kraken: At Calgary on Monday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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