CALGARY — Kailer Yamamoto scored twice on Monday night to lead the Seattle Kraken to a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames in the first of a split-squad double-header.
Cale Fleury, Ty Kartye and Will Borgen also scored for Seattle.
Walker Duehr, Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane replied for Calgary.
Getting the start for Seattle was Chris Driedger, who stopped 17 of 19 shots in 40 minutes of action. Ales Stezka made four saves in relief.
Driedger is trying to return to the NHL after missing most of last season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in May 2022 while playing for Canada at the World Championships. Dreidger did not make it back from surgery until the end of February returning with Coachella Valley (AHL), where he remained for the rest of the season.
Reigning two-time AHL goaltender of the year and last season’s league MVP, Dustin Wolf, went the distance for the Flames. He finished with 24 stops.
Up 4-3 in the third, Yamamoto put the game away at 11:21 of the third on his second power play goal of the game with the former Edmonton Oiler burying a rebound.
The story of the game for the home side was the loss of 22-year-old Jakob Pelletier, who left the game and didn’t return after getting sent heavily into the boards with six seconds remaining in the first period.
As Pelletier took a cross-ice pass and raced through the neutral zone and into the Kraken end, he attempted to stop up quickly and curl back. But with Seattle winger Marian Studenic, 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, in tight pursuit, Studenic’s momentum as he put his arms out to brace himself sent Pelletier, 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, crashing head and shoulders first into the boards.
After writhing on the ice in obvious pain, Pelletier was eventually escorted off the ice by the Flames’ trainer, noticably favouring his left shoulder. He did not return. Studenic was assessed a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct.
Calgary’s first-round pick in 2019, Pelletier is expected to play a much bigger role with the Flames this season. He spent the second half of last season in the NHL, getting into 24 games with the Flames. But down the stretch, Pelletier was unable to crack the line-up with former coach Darryl Sutter opting to go with veteran players.
Before departing the game, Pelletier had an assist, picking up the second helper on Duehr’s goal that opened the scoring at 3:58.
Duehr got the puck along in front of the Seattle net and with plenty of time, he went to his backhand and put a shot under the crossbar on Driedger.
Seattle answered back less than two minutes later when Fleury wired a shot top corner, over Wolf’s glove.
With the Flames light on bodies in camp as a result of not inviting anybody to camp on on professional tryouts and needing to field two full teams on Monday, Noah Hanifin and Dillon Dube along with newly acquired Yegor Sharangovich were among the veterans who had to play in back-to-back nights, having also played in Calgary’s 10-0 win on Sunday night.
In his pre-season debut, Flames defenceman Mackenzie Weegar logged only 12:24 in ice time before being thrown out in the second period and being tagged with 24 penalty minutes. In a skirmish five minutes into the period, Weegar was assessed a roughing minor, unsportsmanlike conduct, and 10-minute misconduct. Then after play resumed and while he was sitting in the penalty box, he was handed an additional game misconduct.
Kraken: Play host to Vancouver at Climate Pledge Arena on Thursday.
Flames: Travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2023.
The Canadian Press