Chris Driedger won a victory in his first National Hockey League game in more than a year as the visiting Seattle Kraken defeated the Calgary Flames by a score of 2-1 on Wednesday.
Alex Wennberg broke a stalemate in the third period, and Chris Driedger earned all three points. It was an emotional homecoming for the Winnipeg native, who spent three seasons playing junior hockey for the Calgary Hitmen. But the sentimentality was quickly replaced by steely focus as Driedger took his place between the pipes. Facing a barrage of 37 shots
Kailer Yamamoto scored for the Kraken, who are currently on a run of 5-0-2, which has propelled them to the top of the standings, surpassing the Flames. While making his first appearance in a National Hockey League game since May 1, 2022, which was the last game of Seattle’s inaugural season, Driedger made 37 saves.
Over the course of the final two periods, Driedger, who had previously played junior hockey in Calgary, shone brightly, blanking the home team despite being subjected to 31 shots after the final forty minutes.
When the Kraken faced the Flames, they were victorious for only the second time in a total of ten games played. A goal was scored by Nazem Kadri for the Flames, who have now dropped their last two matches in a row.
Jacob Markstrom, the goalie, was able to block 19 shots. Kadri’s power-play goal tied the game at the 8:09 mark of the first period. After intercepting a pass, Yegor Sharangovich worked the puck to the front of the net, and Kadri converted a rebound for his ninth of the season.
Kraken’s rock in net, showcasing the reflexes and poise that once made him a top goaltending prospect. “It’s been a long road,” Driedger said after the game, his voice thick with emotion. “To come out and finally get back in, it was pretty emotional. Felt great, especially to do it here in Calgary.”
It was exactly six minutes into the third period when Wennberg scored his fifth goal of the season, which broke a 1-1 deadlock between the two teams.
He received a pass from opposite sides of the rink as he was in a hurry. He ripped a short-side, top-corner shot from below the left faceoff dot all the way to the top corner. An intense effort was made by the Flames to discover the equaliser, but they were unable to locate it despite their best efforts.
For the whole of the match, Seattle never fell behind, despite the fact that it arrived in Calgary in the morning following the holiday break rather than the night before.
Two minutes and twenty-four seconds into the contest, Yamamoto took the first shot on goal for his team at the beginning of the match. Following the failure of Calgary to capitalise on a golden opportunity, in which Adam Larsson saved A.J. Greer’s shot from the doorstep, Yamamoto was released on a breakaway and buried his sixth goal of the season. This was Yamamoto’s sixth goal of the season.