Tye Kartye scored in his NHL debut and the Seattle Kraken fell one win away from clinching their first playoff series after beating the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Wednesday night.
The Kraken take a 3-2 lead in the first round series in Seattle, where they can advance on Friday night in front of their raucous home fans.
Yanni Gourde and Morgan Geekie added goals for the Kraken, who scored first in all five games. Philipp Grubauer saved 26 shots against his former team.
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and Evan Rodrigues added another to make it 3-2 with 3:37 remaining, but the Avs couldn’t tie it.
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The Kraken were without forward Jared McCann, who was injured by a hit by Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar in Game 4. Makar could only watch as he received a one-game suspension from the league. Makar was last year’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP.
Alexandar Georgiev had 26 stops for Colorado.
AVALANCHE STAR CALE MAKAR SUSPENDED 1 GAME FOR ‘LATE HIT’ ON KRAKEN, LEADING SHOER JARED MCCANN
Kartye became the eighth player since 1927 to score a goal while making his NHL debut in the playoffs, according to NHL Stats. Before Kartye, the last to accomplish the feat was Makar in Game 3 of a first-round series in 2019.
Kartye’s goal gave the Kraken a 2-1 second period lead and came moments after MacKinnon collided with Will Borgen. MacKinnon was also enraged and struck the glass with his cane as the Kraken headed towards the ice. Jordan Eberle delivered a pinpoint pass to Kartye, who made it a night to remember.
Kartye, who turns 22 on Sunday, had 28 goals and 29 assists this season with the AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds.
MacKinnon’s second-period goal tied the game at 1. It was MacKinnon’s 98th playoff point, putting him just two shy of joining Joe Sakic (188) and Peter Forsberg (159) as the only players in franchise history to record 100 postseason points.
Geekie opened the scoring by hitting a loose puck early in the second period. It’s been quite an effort for Geekie, who missed Game 3 to be with his wife for the birth of his daughter.
McCann did not make the trip with the team. He lacked leadership and scoring threat (he had 40 goals in the regular season).
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«It sucks that he’s out,» Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn said. «But we don’t want that to be a distraction in our locker room.»
Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin missed his third straight game due to personal reasons. Bednar had no updates, but said the team has been in contact with Nichushkin. Bednar said there was no legal issue surrounding Nichushkin’s absence.
Nichushkin had nine goals and 15 points to help the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup title last season.
The Avalanche continues to fight on the power play. They were 0 for 2 and down to 1 for 12 in the series. … D Josh Manson didn’t take a turn in the third period.