Kraken Win 5th Straight, Reach 100 Points, Top Coyotes 4-1
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jared McCann scored his 40th goal of the season and the Seattle Kraken reached the 100-point mark in their second NHL season, beating the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 on Monday night.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, Justin Schultz and Matty Beniers also scored for the Kraken, who won their fifth game in a row and are 26-10-4 on the road. They beat the Coyotes for the third time in eight days after winning twice at home last week.
The Kraken had 60 points last season, next-to-last in the league — Montreal had 55. Only the Vegas Golden Knights, with 109 points in their debut season of 2017-18, reached 100 points faster among NHL expansion teams.
“A lot of these guys that were here last year, they need to take a lot of credit for that,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “That being said, the group took it in stride and we get the opportunity to get ready for the playoffs.”
Philipp Grubauer stopped 22 shots for the Kraken. Joey Daccord, who played for Arizona State, finished the final 1:16 in goal for Seattle.
Jack McBain scored for the Coyotes, who have one win in their last 11 games. Ivan Prosvetov had 33 saves for Arizona.
Seattle is assured of at least the top wild card in the Western Conference. The Kraken clinched a playoff spot in Thursday’s win over Arizona but need some help to stay above Los Angeles for third place.
The Coyotes scored first when McBain deflected Liam O’Brien’s shot from the blue line past Grubauer 9:22 into the game.
Seattle tied it on the power play at 3:12 of the second period. Bjorkstrand celebrated his 28th birthday with his 20th goal of the season, a one-timer from Alex Wennberg. Eeli Tolvanen also assisted on the goal which came with Arizona’s Barrett Hayton off for high-sticking.
“Our first period scared me,” Hakstol said. “They made a mistake at the end of the shift and then now we’re playing defense tired. And that’s when bad things happen. So that’s why the power play in the second was really important.”
Schultz came out of the penalty box — he was in for boarding — and scored unassisted on a breakaway at 14:56, eight seconds after the penalty expired.
Just 1:14 later, Beniers scored his 24th goal with McCann and Will Borgen assisting. McCann picked up a goal on a wrist shot during a power play in the third period, with Schultz picking up an assist.
McBain and Seattle's Carson Soucy dropped the gloves with 1:16 left in the game.
“Special teams played a big role in that game. They scored two on their power play,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. When asked if it was tough facing a team three times within four games, Tourigny said, “I don't think they found it tough.”
Arizona dropped to 21-15-4 at home. The Coyotes, with one home game remaining, finished 7-25-9 away from Mullett Arena.
Clayton Keller remained at 37 goals and 85 points, one point off the Coyotes single-season points high of 86 set by Keith Tkachuk in 1996-97. The franchise record is 132 points, set by Teemu Selanne in 1992-93 when the team was in Winnipeg.
Kraken LW Vince Dunn was scratched for unknown reasons. Dunn had played in every game for Seattle this season until Monday and has 14 goals and a team-high 50 assists. ... LW Jaden Schwartz (rest) did not play for the second straight game for the Kraken. ... Keller and Seattle’s Brandon Tanev were their teams’ nominees for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game. Both players rebounded from serious injuries last year. Keller suffered a broken femur and Tanev had a torn ACL.
Kraken: At Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Coyotes: Close regular season at home Thursday against Vancouver.