Sprong has 3 Points, Kraken Start Fast in 5-1 win vs Sabres
SEATTLE (AP) — Daniel Sprong had a goal and two assists as the Seattle Kraken beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak opened the scoring less than 2 1/2 minutes in. Morgan Geekie, Jordan McCann and Matty Beniers also scored for Seattle. Martin Jones made 15 saves.
“It’s huge that we can rely on offense up and down the lineup,” Geekie said. “If someone’s not going, we can hop on the back of somebody else.”
Dylan Cozens scored for the Sabres.
Buffalo and San Jose are the only teams that have lost three times to the Kraken since they joined the NHL as an expansion franchise last season. Buffalo has never beaten the Kraken.
“We couldn’t get in a rhythm,” said Sabres coach Don Granato. “(Seattle) had much better energy than us. We chased it. We had a lot of guys that didn’t look like themselves. It was a tough night as a result.”
Seattle jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, outshooting the Sabres 12-5. Oleksiak's goal came at 2:20. Three minutes later, Geekie scored on a breakaway.
Sprong, who assisted on Oleksiak’s goal along with Yanni Gourde, made it 3-0 at 4:46 of the second.
“It was just a good bounce,” Sprong said. “It hit a skate and came right to me alone on the goalie. You make a fake, he slides and you have a wide-open net. You’ll take those any day.”
The goals were the first of the season for Oleksiak, Geekie and Sprong.
Cozens scored at 12:25 of the second off assists from Vinnie Hinostroza and Rasmus Dahlin, who leads NHL defensemen with nine points.
McCann answered with a power-play goal late in the period. McCann, who leads the Kraken with four goals, tied a career high by scoring in three consecutive games.
“We were able to make plays and get through a couple rough patches,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “At the end of the second period was a critical time. We were back on our heels a little bit after a great start to that period.”
Jack Quinn appeared to score a power-play goal for Buffalo early in the third, but a replay review showed the Sabres were offside. Beniers then scored on a power play at 9:45 to extend the Kraken’s lead. Sprong and Justin Schultz were credited with assists.
“We didn’t play very well,” Sabres captain Kyle Okposo said. “I just thought that they had much better jump than we did. We just couldn’t find it. When we did, we made a push and took a penalty in the offensive zone. We can’t do that. It killed any momentum.”
Seattle placed goalie Philipp Grubauer on injured reserve, but how long he’ll be out remains unknown. Grubauer sustained a lower-body injury in the third period of Seattle’s win in Colorado last Friday. Hakstol said after the morning skate that Grubauer remained day-to-day.
NOTES: It was the first matchup between Buffalo’s Owen Power and Beniers, the top two picks in the 2021 NHL draft and college teammates at Michigan. ... The Sabres recalled defenseman Lawrence Pilut from the Rochester Americans on Friday and he played his first NHL game since March 5, 2020. ... Dahlin entered on a five-game goal streak — the only defenseman in NHL history with a season-opening goal streak of five games or more.
Sabres: vs. Montreal on Thursday.
Kraken: vs. Vancouver on Thursday.