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First goal, comeback, painful loss for Kraken in NHL debut

Tuesday represented a night of firsts for the Seattle Kraken. Unfortunately, that didn’t include a first NHL win. The Kraken gave the Golden Knights huge headaches in their first NHL game, but Vegas held on to win 4-3.

Here are the good and bad first moments for the Kraken from their NHL debut vs. the Golden Knights.

Overall, though? Pretty promising for Seattle’s new sports franchise.

Kraken allow first goal before they get first save

During the first period, the Kraken looked fast and decisive. They just couldn’t put it all together to the point of earning an early lead.

Instead, the Golden Knights generated the first goal allowed in Kraken history, and Vegas scored on two of its first three shots. There were times when Philipp Grubauer looked a little shaky, though sometimes the Golden Knights enjoyed too much room. Those two points were clear on Jonathan Marchessault’s impressive 2-0 tally:

Donato scores first goal in Kraken history, starts comeback

Through a significant chunk of the second period, it seemed like Vegas might pull away.

In scoring his second goal of the game, Max Pacioretty put the Golden Knights up 3-0. After a brief lull, the Kraken got back into the contest in a big way, though.

By cleaning up a rebound, Ryan Donato scored the first goal in Seattle Kraken history. He displayed a nice mix of grit and skill. (Watch Donato score the first goal in Kraken history in the video above this post’s headline.)

Just 1:12 after Donato scored the first-ever Kraken goal, the team began their first comeback push. Instead of missing the contest on COVID protocol, Jared McCann was credited with the goal that made it 3-2.

About eight minutes into the third, the Kraken made it 3-3. Morgan Geekie deceived Robin Lehner with a great shot. In the process, he evoked a William Karlsson comparison or two. (OK, maybe just one.)

Seattle gets an early taste of heartbreak

That 3-3 tie wouldn’t last long.

Just 35 seconds after Geekie’s goal, a puck went off of Chandler Stephenson’s skate for a 4-3 goal. Or did Stephenson kick the puck in illegally?

Ah, the controversial goal review/gut-punch touch officiating call. The Kraken really were crossing a lot of first NHL moments during their first game.

Was that the right call? In some ways, that’s not the point. Perhaps it was best to provide a buffet of NHL tastes. Losing this way must have been bittersweet for the Kraken -- but it’s a flavor hockey fans grow accustomed to.

Ultimately, the Kraken’s first 4-on-3 power play didn’t yield a goal. And they couldn’t manage a goal in their first desperate, late, empty-net push. So the Golden Knights handed the Kraken their first loss in their first NHL game.

Now, about the Kraken getting their first NHL win? Their next chance comes against the Predators in Nashville on Thursday.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.