VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist as the Seattle Kraken rallied from two goals down to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Yanni Gourde, Brandon Tanev, Jayden Schwartz and Matty Beniers also scored for the Kraken, who have consecutive wins for the first time since March 7. Martin Jones made 14 saves as the Canucks registered a season-low 16 shots.
“That’s a character win down the stretch here when there’s not many games left and two points mean that much more,” Tanev said.
Elias Pettersson and Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Canucks, who lost their fourth straight. Collin Delia stopped 23 shots.
Coach Rick Tocchet believes, with the team out of playoff contention, some players may be viewing the final games of the season as meaningless.
“Some guys are maybe getting tired. ... A lot of people in and out of the lineup. Maybe that’s it, I don’t know,” he said. “But the fact of the matter is you can’t think that way. We have to be strong mentally.”
The Canucks took a 2-0 lead in the first period, but managed just nine shots over the final 40 minutes.
“At the end of the first, we kind of just let up the play, let them take over,” Pettersson said. “The power play wasn’t good again. We’ve got to, first off, bury the chances we create. But just be more disciplined or just work harder.”
A mystifying goal from Pettersson opened the scoring 4:31 into the game. Andrei Kuzmenko put the puck on Pettersson’s stick in the Kraken crease and the Swedish center pulled it behind his back before tipping it into the net for his 37th goal of the season.
Vancouver took a two-goal cushion with 6:51 left in the first first when Jones slid across his crease to cover Conor Garland as he drove the net. The Canucks' forward appeared poised to launch a slap shot, but instead sliced a no-look pass across the slot to Beauvillier, who fired the puck behind the out-of-position goalie for his 18th.
Gourde got Seattle on the scoreboard as his shot sailed through the legs of Vancouver center Nils Aman and past Delia stick side with 3:02 remaining in the opening period.
An ugly second period proved to be Vancouver’s undoing.
The Canucks had a prime opportunity to add to their tally early in the period with 55 seconds of 5-on-3 play, but struggled to get a shot off.
Instead, Tanev whipped a wrist shot past Delia off a short-handed 2-on-1 5:07 into the period, tying the score 2-2.
“That was definitely a momentum swing for us,” Eberle said. “Our kill has been doing a really good job and then chipping in offensively too, which you don’t expect. Those are key moments in games where you’re able to swing the momentum of the game and we’ve been able to do that.”
The Kraken took the lead with 9:20 left in the middle period after the Canucks coughed up the puck at the goal line. Eberle picked it up and blasted a quick shot in off the crossbar for his 18th.
A power-play tally boosted Seattle's advantage to 4-2 after Pettersson was called for interference. Daniel Sprong sent a shot through traffic from the top of the slot and Eberle got a piece of it before Schwartz tipped it in past Delia for his 20th with 3:46 left in the second.
Beniers capped the scoring with one minute left in the third, sending a shot into the empty net from deep in Kraken territory.
SPLITTING THE SERIES
Each side took two wins in the four-game season series between the two squads, with Vancouver earning a 5-4 victory in Seattle on Oct. 27 and a 6-5 shootout win on home ice on Dec. 22. The Kraken topped the Canucks at Climate Pledge Arena on Jan. 25, marking the franchise’s first ever win over the Canucks.
KUZMENKO’S ELITE COMPANY
With an assist on Pettersson’s goal, Kuzmenko hit 70 points (37 goals, 33 assists) on the season, joining Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane as just the third player to hit the mark in the first year of his NHL career.
Kraken: Host Arizona on Thursday night.
Canucks: Host Chicago on Thursday night.
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