Kraken win, lose McCann after ‘late hit’ by Makar

Kraken win, lose McCann after ‘late hit’ by Makar

Kraken top the Avs in OT for first home playoff win (1:18)

Jordan Eberle nets the game-winning goal in overtime to even the series and give the Kraken their first postseason win at home. (1:18)

11:58 PM ET

  • clark ryan

    Ryan S. ClarkNHL reporter


      Ryan S. Clark is an NHL reporter for ESPN.

SEATTLE — The Kraken lost leading scorer Jared McCann to an injury in the first period of Monday’s 3-2 overtime victory against the Avalanche following what was characterized by Seattle coach Dave Hakstol as a “late hit” from Colorado defenseman Cale Makar.

After the game — which saw the Kraken tie their first-round series with the defending champions at two games apiece — Hakstol told reporters McCann won’t be available for Wednesday’s Game 5 in Denver and that “my assumption is probably longer than that.”

The Avalanche were on the power play when a miscue forced a turnover that saw McCann gain possession and head the other direction on a breakaway. McCann’s shot was stopped by Avs goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, bounced off the goalie and appeared to go into the netting behind the goal.

As the puck was in the air, Makar and McCann were skating toward the corner to try to gain possession. McCann appeared to have slowed down while going into the corner and did not seem ready for the hit by Makar.

McCann initially landed on his back before rolling over on his stomach. He tried to get up but remained on the ice while he was attended to by a member of the Kraken’s training staff. He headed to the locker room and did not return to the game.

At first, Makar was assessed a five-minute major penalty, but it was reduced to a two-minute minor for interference upon further review. The Kraken went on the power play, and Daniel Sprong scored to give Seattle a 2-0 lead. Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen then scored two second-period goals that would eventually send the game to overtime, before Jordan Eberle netted the first winning overtime goal in Climate Pledge Arena history.

“It’s unfortunate. I never want to injure guys,” Makar said. “Hopefully he’s all right. At the end of the day … I didn’t feel like I tried to finish him that hard. But, I mean, I feel like if I was in that scenario, they would have done the exact same thing. I’m not trying to hurt anybody. It’s just unfortunate, tough bounce there. They got the call right, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Makar said he didn’t know if the puck was in or out of play. He said he knew McCann got the shot off and that he was going to the corner because the puck was coming down.

After Makar served the penalty, he was excessively booed for the remainder of the game any time he had possession or was even near the puck.

Makar, the reigning Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe Award winner, was asked if he had ever been booed like that before.

“No, actually, it’s pretty funny. I had a dream last night I was getting booed,” Makar said. “It’s playoff hockey. That’s the atmosphere you want. I mean .. you got to be a big boy and just take it. Like I said, unfortunate circumstances and I hope he’s all right.”

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he had not looked at the play again prior to his postgame news conference. Bednar said he was not concerned about any supplemental discipline for Makar because the penalty went from a five-minute major to a two-minute minor.

Hakstol said what he saw live and on review was “a late hit” in which the puck was out of play and went into the netting.

“I believe the puck is being caught by a fan as Canner is being run into the end wall,” Hakstol said. “Late hit. Really late. No puck in play. Like I said, our 40-goal scorer was not available for the rest of the game and not going to be available going forward here.”

Hakstol said the explanation he was given by the officials as to why Makar’s penalty was downgraded to a minor was that there was a puck in play at the battle, which is why they penalized Makar for interference.

“I disagree with that obviously,” Hakstol said. “As I assessed it and looked at it live and … looking at it after on video, I … disagree with that assessment, whether that’s by the refs or by Toronto. That’s not an accurate description of the play.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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