Jordan Eberle scored the first hat trick in Kraken history, a natural one at that, as Seattle defeated the visiting Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Thursday night.
Jaden Schwartz added an empty-net goal and two assists, Morgan Geekie also scored and Alex Wennberg had two helpers as the Kraken snapped a two-game losing streak. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves.
Tage Thompson and Kyle Okposo scored for Buffalo, which completed its four-game West Coast swing with a 1-3-0 record. Goalie Dustin Tokarski, who played junior hockey in Spokane, Wash., kept the Sabres in the game by stopping 33 of 37 shots.
Eberle, selected from the New York Islanders in the expansion draft, tied the score at 2-2 at 18:25 of the second period.
He gave Seattle the lead at 1:50 of the third and completed the hat trick after taking a cross-ice pass from Schwartz in the neutral zone, skating over the blue line and putting a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle between Tokarski’s pads at 8:06.
Seattle fans were a bit slow to recognize the feat, but then showered the ice with hats.
Schwartz scored into an open net at 18:43.
The Kraken opened the scoring at 15:42 of the first period as Wennberg carried the puck along the right boards and fired a cross-ice pass to Geekie in the left faceoff circle, with his one-timer beating Tokarski before he could get all the way across the crease.
The Sabres tied it at 6:27 of the second. Thompson took a pass from Rasmus Asplund near the top of the faceoff circles and skated down the center of the ice, swiveling past two defenders at the blue line and using a third as a screen before netting a wrist shot from the slot.
Buffalo took a 2-1 lead on Okposo’s power-play goal at 17:59 of the second. Teammate Zemgus Girgensons set up a screen in front of Grubauer, and Okposo scored from the top of the right faceoff circle.
The Kraken responded just 26 seconds later, with Schwartz digging the puck out from behind the Buffalo net and feeding a wide-open Eberle, who put a one-timer over Tokarski’s right shoulder.
–Field Level Media
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