Kraken host Wild, seek first-ever winning streak

NHL

For the expansion Seattle Kraken, nearly every game checks off a couple of more things on the “first” list.

Tuesday night, the Kraken made some more history.

The Kraken defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-1, giving them their first victory at Climate Pledge Arena and their first multiple-goal victory.

They’ll look to put together their first winning streak when they play host to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

Jordan Eberle scored his first goal of the season 1:02 into the game to spark the Kraken against Montreal as Seattle snapped a four-game losing streak.

“You score first shift, especially at home you get the crowd going,” Eberle said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Get the crowd amped up, especially early.”

Brandon Tanev scored twice, Yanni Gourde had a goal and an assist and Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves.

“We got off to a good start, which always helps in your home building to build some momentum, especially with the crowd that we have behind us,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “It was a good start, and we were able to play a pretty good first period. The big difference (Tuesday), compared to a couple of nights ago, is we were able to build on that lead.”

Four of Seattle’s five goals came on odd-man rushes, including two breakaways.

Eberle, who tallied on a three-on-two rush, admitted he was starting to feel a bit of pressure to light the lamp.

“You get paid to score,” said Eberle, who has scored 20 or more goals in a season six times in his career. “I felt pressure from Game 1, but that pressure is good. You want to be that guy that teams look to when you need to put a goal in.”

After Tanev scored late in the first to give the Kraken a 2-1 lead, Seattle tallied twice in a 1:57 span, by Gourde and Tanev, in the second to pull away.

“Those were big goals for us,” Hakstol said. “To be able to put a little bit of distance there makes a pretty steep hill for a comeback.”

Ryan Donato scored on a third-period breakaway to cap the victory.

Kraken forward Mason Appleton suffered a right leg injury late in the second period when pinned awkwardly against the boards by Montreal’s Sami Niku. Appleton didn’t play in the third period and Hakstol didn’t have an update on his status after the game.

The Wild spoiled Vancouver’s home opener with a 3-2 victory Tuesday. Mats Zuccarello, Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba scored and Cam Talbot made 22 saves to improve to 5-0-0 this season.

“We talked about never losing two in a row,” said Talbot, referencing a 5-2 loss Sunday against Nashville. “Coming into a tough building in their home opener, obviously they’re going to have momentum from the crowd behind them, so we established our game early, got out to a lead, which we haven’t been able to do this year, and that set the tone.”

Zuccarello’s goal 7:41 into the first period marked the first time the Wild scored the game’s opening goal in six games this season.

–Field Level Media

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