Canucks fall to Kraken 4-3 in OT in preseason action

Bob Frid/USA Today Sports

The Canucks hosted the Seattle Kraken last night at Rogers Arena, falling 4-3 in overtime despite an impressive offensive performance from Andrei Kuzmenko.

Early in the first period, Kuzmenko deked his way to the opening goal, beating Seattle goaltender Joey Daccord. Later that period, with Vancouver on the man advantage, Kuzmenko potted his second of the evening to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead.

Seattle’s Tye Kartye scored first for the Kraken on a first-period goal against goalie Thatcher Demko. Demko played the first two periods of the game and made 17 saves with only one goal against. 

Near the end of the first period, with Vancouver on another man advantage, Tanner Pearson gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead. Kuzmenko added an assist on the goal for his third point of the game.

After a scoreless second period, Vancouver subbed out Demko for goaltender Arturs Silovs. Seattle’s Kole Lind and John Hayden scored goals in the third period to equalize and force overtime.

Four minutes into the extra period, Kraken forward Ryan Donato beat Silovs for the game-winning goal. Silovs had eight saves on 11 shots. 

While the Canucks have yet to win in preseason action following losses last week to the Calgary Flames, several players have demonstrated their ability and proved themselves ready for a spot in the opening day lineup. Kuzmenko, signed this offseason as the top KHL free agent available, appeared comfortable and effective on the power play, with a deceptive shot that should prove valuable to Vancouver’s scoring.

In addition to Kuzmenko, 23-year-old defense prospect and roster hopeful Jack Rathbone stood out, logging huge minutes through two preseason games, and earning significant opportunities on the power play. He has registered seven shots on goal already this preseason, and has yet to play less than 21 minutes in a contest. If Rathbone can emerge as a bonafide top-four d-man for Vancouver, their blueline corps could be greatly stabilized.

Vancouver will look to pick up their first preseason win at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in the second of a home-and-home with the Kraken.