SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Kraken are in a situation they really never faced in their inaugural season — learning to deal with success.
Jordan Eberle scored two of Seattle’s four goals in the first period, including the first shot of the game, and the Kraken beat the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.
Seattle enjoyed a night of firsts, posting its first five-game win streak in franchise history and the first time scoring four goals in a period that didn’t include an empty-netter.
“I think the biggest thing for us right now is to not get too high, here,” Eberle said. “I know we’ve won five in a row, but we have a big homestand, some really good teams that we’re about to play. A lot of times you get a little bit lackadaisical and think things are too easy, and that’s when this league gets you.”
Seattle’s big night started nearly from the opening faceoff as Eberle beat Nashville’s Juuse Saros on a slap shot from the right circle just 38 seconds into the game. Will Borgen made it 2-0 at 7: 29 after Saros made an initial sprawling save to deny Morgan Geekie.
A bad Nashville turnover led to Andre Burakovsky’s goal with 4: 44 left, set up by Alex Wennberg’s pass, and Eberle capped Seattle’s big first period with his second goal 1: 09 later off another Predators mistake.
Brandon Tanev added an empty-net goal with 1: 11 left in the game for Seattle.
Coming off an impressive three-game road sweep with wins in Calgary, Minnesota and Pittsburgh, the Kraken continued to roll in the opener of a season-high six-game homestand. Burakovsky added a pair of assists to go with his fourth goal, his first three-point game of the season.
“I think last couple games here doing our five-game winning streak we’ve been having good starts,” Burakovsky said. “I think that was a little bit of a problem earlier in the year where we came out a little bit sleeping and we’ve been talking about it a lot. Now I think we were coming out hot. That sets the tone for sure.”
Nashville saw its two-game win streak snapped and lost whatever momentum was gained from rallying from down 3-0 to beat Vancouver in a shootout on Saturday.
Saros was lifted after allowing four goals on six shots and replaced by Kevin Lankinen. Saros has allowed 13 goals in his last three starts. Lankinen saved all 13 shots he faced.
“We knew it was gonna be a tough game here and and probably played better than 5-1,” Nashville’s Filip Forsberg said. “I thought the result was not necessarily indicative of the game, but at the same time that’s what happened.”
Forsberg scored his fifth of the season on a breakaway midway through the second period but that was the only time the Predators managed to beat Seattle goalie Martin Jones. Jones continued to excel in goal since taking on the full-time starter’s role with Philipp Grubauer out with a lower-body injury. Jones made 24 saves and improved to 5-1 in his last six starts.
Jones withstood a barrage of Nashville shots following Eberle’s early goal and Borgen’s second goal of the season was a needed relief from the pressure. Borgen had two goals in 36 games all of last season.
“We’ve played real well here over the last stretch and to have that start here was a good start, was an important start to the hockey game,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said.
NOTES: Nashville C Ryan Johansen played in his 800th career game. Seattle F Jared McCann was scratched for the third straight game with a lower-body injury. … Geekie has a career-best five-game points streak. … Seattle D Jamie Oleksiak didn’t play in the third period. Hakstol did not have an update on his status after the game.
Predators: Nashville closes out its road trip at Colorado on Thursday.
Kraken: Seattle’s homestand continues against Minnesota on Friday.
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