SEATTLE — It took the Seattle Kraken all of 45 games to reach a winning total in the franchise’s disappointing first season.
It also earned Seattle a spot few expected from the Kraken this season: first place.
Ryan Donato had two goals and an assist and Andre Burakowski scored 1:10 into overtime to give the Kraken a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Seattle snapped a two-game losing streak and earned its 27th win, matching its total from last season when the Kraken finished 27-49-6. The win combined with Vegas’ loss to Detroit moved Seattle into a tie for first place with the Golden Knights in the Pacific Division, even though the Kraken have the better points percentage.
“That speaks to me about the work the group has done here. I mean, that’s the point, right?” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s what we’re here for. You’re here to compete for a playoff spot and positioning and the No. 1 roster — keep competing every night for those important points that go into the playoff bank.”
Donato gave Seattle a 2-0 lead, but New Jersey rallied. Eric Hawla’s breakaway goal at 6:04 of the third period made it 2.
Brandon Taneu gave the Kraken the lead again at 7:51, but New Jersey forced overtime with another late goal. Nico Hischier bounced a Jack Hughes shot past Seattle goaltender Martin Jones with 1:14 left, ending a long flurry of activity around the net after the Devils pulled goaltender Mackenzie Blackwell.
It was the second straight game in which New Jersey forced overtime with a late goal after scoring a goalie. Hughes scored with 8.6 seconds left in Monday’s game against San Jose. The Devils ended up winning the shootout.
Burakowski’s 13th goal of the season came off a Blackwell layup.
“I think I was just lucky. I don’t know who it was, (Jasper) Brett, maybe it hit his club and went five holes,” Burakowski said. “I mean, that’s not what I was trying to do, but it worked.”
New Jersey has won five straight games overall and seven straight on the road. He missed a chance to complete a five-game road trip, the longest of the season.
Despite scoring nine out of a possible 10 points for the ride. coach Lindy Ruff was disappointed with the performance.
“It turns out to be a good trip. I mean, you’re happy any time you can get that amount of points,” he said. “We are not satisfied with the way we are playing. Didn’t like the way we played tonight. Lost too many battles. Gave up too many preventable situations.”
Damon Severson scored midway through the second period to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead.
Jones made 27 saves and won for the eighth time in his last nine starts. Blackwood made 36 saves to keep the Devils in the game, withstanding an early onslaught of Kraken shots.
Donato scored nearly identical goals, snapping an eight-game hitting streak without finding the back of the net. Donato scored in five of six games in December before being held to just four points during an eight-goal drought.
He scored his first goal 12:27 into the first when he sent a shot from the right circle over Blackwell’s glove and under the crossbar.
The second goal came from almost the same spot on the ice to give Seattle a 2-0 lead with 4:52 left.
New Jersey’s Nathan Bastian is back after missing 22 games with an upper-body injury. … Seattle played without F Jaden Schwartz (undisclosed) and Justin Schultz (undisclosed). Schwartz missed his fourth straight game and Schultz his third of the season. Schultz was limited to a season-low 10:12 of ice time Tuesday in Edmonton.
The Kraken host Colorado on Saturday.