BOSTON -- The helmet came crashing down, missing Matty Beniers’ head by mere inches. It was an accident, Seattle Kraken teammate Tomas Tatar’s helmet a victim of the tight space in the visitor’s dressing room at TD Garden and an errant nudge.

It has, in some ways, been that kind of sophomore season for Beniers and the Kraken, near misses and bad luck after a rookie season that had plenty of the opposite. Or, perhaps, it could be a sign the luck is changing for the 21-year-old center as Seattle faces the final two months of a season it hoped would go more easily than this one has. 

Beniers ended a seven-game goal-less drought with a goal in a 2-1 win at the New York Islanders on Tuesday, and added a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win at the Boston Bruins on Thursday in a return home for the native of Hingham, Massachussetts. 

Four points in two games may not seem like a lot, but it marked the first time Beniers had accomplished the feat since he had five points in three games from Dec. 18-23 and the first time he had scored in consecutive games since Nov. 16 and 18. 

He will get a chance to make it three games in a row when the Kraken host the Detroit Red Wings at Climate Pledge Arena on Monday (3:30 p.m. ET; ESPN). With two straight wins, Seattle (23-21-10) has moved within four points of the St. Louis Blues, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference.

“I think he’s a really cerebral guy,” Seattle forward Jordan Eberle said. “He’s smart. I think he sees the game and he understands the highs and lows of this game. I think last year was pretty smooth for him. I think coming in, you get bigger matchups, teams start to key on you a little bit, things get harder. 

“He’s pushed through it. You’ve seen a lot of guys kind of struggling in their second year, but he’s -- obviously the points and numbers, that’s what everyone sees -- but he’s doing a lot that goes unnoticed, whether it’s his face-offs and the way he’s improved there or his defensive play, that sort of thing. For him, I think the biggest thing is as long as he continues to just progress and get better, the sky’s the limit for him.”

SEA@BOS: Beniers fires home a sweet shot to extend the lead

In 2022-23, a season that ended with the Kraken making a surprise trip to the Western Conference Second Round, losing in seven games to the Dallas Stars, Beniers finished with 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) in 80 games. He has not been nearly that prolific this season, with 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 49 games.  

“That’s a learning process. It’s a growing process,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “Matty continues to do just that, he continues to grow as a player. The thing that has never wavered is his competitiveness, his confidence, the type of teammate that he is. As he goes through the challenges of year 2 in the NHL, those elements remaining a constant are a real positive.”

And, maybe, things are looking up. 

“Obviously goals in back-to-back games, that’s huge,” goalie Joey Daccord said. “When he’s going, he’s one of our best players. So we need him firing on all cylinders. To get a couple of big goals here, back-to-back games … hopefully he keeps that rolling.”

Does he think it might?

“Hope so,” Beniers said. 

He knows he was a surprise last season, that the Kraken were a surprise. He used that. They used that. But he also knows what it can mean to get a few games in a row where the points come and the game seems easier and it can be like a ball rolling downhill. 

“Any time you get something like that, you try to use that as momentum and bring it into the next game,” Beniers said. “I saw last year where just one, two, two games in a row you have good games, and that can just spring you and you can have another five or 10. It’s all momentum and confidence.”

Beniers’ downturn has been part of a team-wide downturn, with the Kraken 28th in the NHL at 2.72 goals per game after finishing tied for fourth last season with 3.52 per game. 

One thing that has been consistent for Beniers, despite his offensive struggles, has been his defensive effort. It perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise for a center who grew up with Patrice Bergeron as his idol.

“Growing up, that was the guy I always watched,” Beniers said. “I loved him. Our whole family loved watching him. You play like Bergeron, you play the right way. That was kind of the message.”

It’s something he has tried to dial down on this season, helped by getting a little bigger, a little more mature, by learning more about the League and the team’s structure. 

And it’s something Eberle found somewhat unusual for a young player, many of whom want to be Connor McDavid, wanted to focus on scoring and on numbers, while not always dedicating themselves to the finer points of defense. 

“I think that’s something that really goes unnoticed is how good he is in his own end,” Eberle said. “He puts a lot of emphasis on his D-zone play and not a lot of young guys do that. It’s fun to see. You talk to him, he wants to be like a Boston Bruin, Patrice Bergeron-type player. It’s not a lot of times you hear that reference.”

So how crucial will Beniers be down the stretch, with Seattle trying to catch up in a crowded race for a wild card spot in the West, whether with his defense or with increased offensive output?

“He just needs to do his part,” Hakstol said. “You can’t manufacture anything. You have to go out and do your part, do your job, as well as you can and that’s all we’re asking of him. We’re not going to start putting pressure on different individual players, that they have to produce offense in this league. That’s not the way it works. 

“You have to go out and you have to be part of the team process, have chemistry with your linemates and do things the right way, consistently, and that’s Matty’s mindset. As he does that, the offense will be there.”