Opening night did not go the way either the Seattle Kraken or Nashville Predators had hoped.
Each will get the chance to make up for that Thursday night when the teams meet in Nashville.
The Predators opened the season Tuesday with a 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay despite a goal and an assist from newcomer Ryan O’Reilly.
A few hours later, the Kraken lost 4-1 on the road against the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.
At least the Kraken got to view a championship banner-raising ceremony.
“It’s gonna be a hell of an atmosphere here,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said after Tuesday morning’s skate. “There’s a lot going on with banner raising and opening night. We’ve just got to make sure that our energy and focus is exactly where we want it to be right at the drop of the puck.”
The Kraken seemed to accomplish that, putting the game’s first five shots on goal. But Vegas scored on its first attempt and later got a fluke goal as Brandon Tanev’s clearing attempt went off the stick of Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault and into the Seattle net.
Tanev left the game at 6:02 of the third period after taking a high hit from Vegas’ Brett Howden at center ice. Howden was assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head and Tanev didn’t return.
Hakstol didn’t have an update on Tanev’s status after the game. The Kraken failed to score on the ensuing five-minute power play and Vegas’ Jack Eichel scored an empty-net goal.
“I thought we skated, played aggressive and carried the play five-on-five,” Kraken forward Jordan Eberle said. “But the big one is the power play. … We’ve just got to try to maybe simplify it because the power play, especially early in the year, is such a huge thing.”
Jared McCann scored for the Kraken and Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves.
“We left something on the table,” Hakstol said. “I’m not disappointed with the overall effort. I think some individuals can have a better night. We’ve got to take some things out of this, improve on them, and get right back at it (against Nashville).”
For the Predators, O’Reilly had a goal and an assist, Filip Forsberg added two assists and Juuse Saros made 29 saves.
Nashville took a 2-1 lead early in the third period before allowing a power-play goal and another on a penalty shot.
“I felt good about our game, but against this team you can’t get into penalty trouble,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said. “That’s where they gain all their momentum, their power play is elite. I’ve seen this record played too many times in this building with the penalties in the third period and changing the course of the game.”
O’Reilly, who signed a four-year, $18 million contract with the Predators, made a good first impression.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted, but we just reset, moved our feet, won some battles and our game started to come,” O’Reilly said. “We had some chances for sure, but their power play beat our power play. We did some good things and have some things we need to clean up.”