Slumping Kraken searching for answers as Hurricanes visit

In baseball, they’re called crooked numbers. It’s when a team scores multiple runs in an inning.

Through the first four games of the season, the Seattle Kraken are still looking for their first crooked number. Not only for a period, but for a game.

The Kraken have scored just three goals during their 0-3-1 start heading into Thursday night’s game against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

Kailer Yamamoto opened the scoring in Tuesday’s home opener against Colorado, but the Avalanche won 4-1.

Seattle lost its season opener 4-1 at Vegas, was blanked 3-0 at Nashville and lost 2-1 in a shootout at St. Louis.

“We played hard in a lot of areas of the game,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said after the loss to the Avalanche. “We executed pretty well in a lot of areas, but we need a little bit more until things start to come a little bit easier.

“Everybody wants to score a little more and provide a little bit more, but you can’t wave a magic wand and have that happen.”

Last season, when they made a 40-point improvement compared to their inaugural campaign and reached the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Kraken had a shooting percentage of 11.6, second in the NHL to Edmonton’s 11.8.

So far this season, the Kraken rank worst in the league at 2.4 percent, with St. Louis second-to-last at 4.1.

“I mean, the chances are there,” Kraken forward Jordan Eberle said. “We’ve just got to execute a little bit. Obviously, we’ve been fighting it. We’ve got three goals in four games. It’s tough to win hockey games when you’re doing that. Things aren’t coming easy for us.

“Obviously, the puck went in quite a bit last year. … We have to find a way to bear down and get the ball rolling, because once it does, I know it’s going to go. I’d say it’s only four games, but you want to try to find a sense of urgency, a sense of passion, and get going.”

It won’t come easy against the Hurricanes, who are considered one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. Carolina improved to 3-1-0 on the season by scoring four-third period goals in a 6-3 victory at San Jose on Tuesday.

Seth Jarvis scored two power-play goals for the Hurricanes, while Martin Necas and Stefan Noesen each had a goal and an assist.

“We were playing solid all game,” said Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin, who also scored. “We had chance after chance. We knew we just had to stick with it.”

Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen left early in the first period after taking a shot off his mask. Antti Raanta stopped 12 of the 14 shots he faced in relief.

“We’re in an age now for the athletes (where) everything is precautionary,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “If it’s even remotely, ‘Oh, I’m a little dinged,’ well of course you are, you just took one in the head. It’s, ‘OK, see you, we’re pulling you out and we’re going to make sure there’s nothing wrong.’ And really across the board, I think we’ve done a good job with that and that’s what this was.”

The Hurricanes were also without center Sebastian Aho, who was scratched from the lineup with an upper-body injury.

“He did something at the end of (Sunday’s 6-3 loss at Anaheim) that we didn’t think was going to be maybe that serious,” Brind’Amour said. “But again, what we’re dealing with, you just (say) ‘OK, you’re not 100%, you’re not going.’ So, he’ll get relooked at and we’ll take it from there.”