Nothing is going right at the moment for the Seattle Kraken.
The team appeared to be on the verge of a big bounce back victory after a pair of blowout losses at home over the weekend. They held a 3-1 lead over the Edmonton Oilers with seven minutes to play on Wednesday night as they looked to avenge a 4-1 loss at home on Saturday.
But the Kraken couldn't get the effort across the finish line. Evander Kane scored twice over the closing minutes to tie the game at 3-3 with 45.4 seconds left in regulation, then added the game-winning goal in overtime for his seventh-career hat trick and a 4-3 Oilers victory.
"This one’s going to sting on the way home. We’ve got to turn the page and get ready to go tomorrow night," head coach Dave Hakstol said.
It's just the latest squandered lead for a Kraken team that just can't seem to put it all together at the moment.
This was a far better effort than either of the team's previous two losses. Zach Hyman had a hat trick in the first period as the Oilers raced to a 4-1 win over Seattle on Saturday night at home. The Colorado Avalanche followed that up by scoring five unanswered goals on Monday night after Brandon Tanev gave the Kraken an early 1-0 lead in another lopsided defeat.
In Edmonton, the Kraken played one of its stronger games of the year for over 52 minutes before the Oilers' high-powered offense managed to rally to force the extra session. Kane deflected an Evan Bouchard pass by goaltender Joey Daccord with 6:32 remaining to trim Seattle's lead to one. Then with the goaltender pulled inside the final minute, Edmonton won an offensive zone face-off and Leon Draisaitl found Kane at the front of the net for the tying goal.
The Oilers then ended up with a 2-on-1 chance in overtime after Yanni Gourde fell down and Kane finished a Hyman pass over a sprawled out Justin Schultz to give the Kraken a crushing 4-3 loss.
"We just can't lose this game," center Alex Wennberg said. "This is one of those games you just got to fight through and just find a way to win, but unfortunately we didn't today."
After playing 25 really strong minutes of hockey, the Kraken made a defensive lapse that allowed the Oilers to pounce. Adam Larsson made the decision to collapse on Draisaitl at the Seattle blue line. When Larsson was unable to get his stick on the puck, Draisaitl found Connor McDavid in all alone and he cleanly beat Daccord with a move to his backhand to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
But the Kraken quickly mounted a response and took control of the game.
Jared McCann scored as a Jordan Eberle pass deflected off his calf and by Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner to tie the game at 1-1 less than two minutes after McDavid's goal.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored his second goal of the season just over two minutes later as he deflected a Vince Dunn shot by Skinner for a 2-1 lead.
Then late in the second period, Wennberg scored for the first time this year as he collected a rebound of an Eeli Tolvanen shot and found the net for a 3-1 lead.
"We just can't lose this game," Wennberg said. "This is one of those games you just got to fight through and just find a way to win, but unfortunately we didn't today."
After Kane's first goal trimmed the lead to 3-2, Skinner came up with a terrific save on a prime chance from Tolvanen with two minutes left to play to keep the Kraken lead at just one. The Oilers were then able to get Skinner to the bench for an extra skater shortly after as Edmonton ramped up the pressure. Draisaitl won the face-off from Bellemare and dumped him to the ice without a penalty call. With Bellemare down, the puck came to Draisaitl before he found Kane on the doorstep for the tying goal.
"We played a hell of a hockey game," Hakstol said. "We played exactly the way we wanted to play on the road. Giving up the second one obviously gives them a little big of juice and a little bit of momentum. We worked pretty fricking hard all the way through the game today. It comes down to the tying goal. Our center man gets bulldogged on that (face-off) so we're not able to pressure that on the half wall and that puts us a little bit in the soup down low. It's disappointing without question because of how hard our players worked and a pretty solid road game that they played."
The loss leaves the Kraken with a 5-8-4 record and 14 points through their first 17 games of the season. While it's not time for outright panic, the Kraken's struggles are leaving them in danger of losing touch with the back end of the playoff picture. The Western Conference appears far deeper this season and the Kraken can't risk falling too far behind the pack even at this early stage of the season.
"It doesn't matter how good you play, you've got to win these games," Wennberg said.