SEATTLE KRAKEN

Jared McCann helps Kraken cruise past Coyotes 8-1

Apr 3, 2023, 10:35 PM | Updated: 10:55 pm

Kraken...

Jared McCann, Jordan Eberle and Matty Beniers celebrate a goal for the Kraken against Arizona on April 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

(AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

SEATTLE (AP) — Jared McCann scored two goals in his 500th NHL game, helping the high-powered Seattle Kraken rout the Arizona Coyotes 8-1 on Monday night.

Kraken 8, Coyotes 1: Stats

Jordan Eberle, Carson Soucy, Will Borgen, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Morgan Geekie and Ryan Donato also scored for Seattle, which is three points up on Winnipeg and five on Calgary for the top wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference. Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves.

Lawson Crouse scored for the Coyotes, who are winless in their last eight (0-6-2). Ivan Prosvetov, playing just his fifth game of the season for Arizona, had 24 saves.

It was the Kraken’s fourth game this season with eight goals, plus one game during which they scored nine.

Eberle gave Seattle a 1-0 lead 4:54 into the game on a power-play goal. The Coyotes had the man advantage later in the period when Kraken star rookie Matty Beniers gained control of the puck behind his own blue line, took it across center and passed it to McCann in the high slot. McCann sent a wrister into the net at 15:07 for a short-handed goal.

“Matty made a great play on the wall to create a turnover,” McCann said. “He made the pass and I tried to get to it as quick as I could.”

While scoring in his 500th game was special, McCann said he never really thought about playing that many after being drafted 24th overall by Vancouver in 2014. He’s the 10th player from that draft class to reach the milestone. McCann played with the Canucks, Pittsburgh and Florida before coming to the Kraken in the 2021 expansion draft.

“It has been a journey for me — definitely not your Cinderella career,” he said. “I’ve had to grind my way at some points, but I think I’m a better person for it.”

Kraken coach Dave Hakstol made McCann a bigger part of the team’s penalty kill after the Christmas break, and he has been pleased with the results.

“We changed the structure of our kills a little bit, and he fits that structure very well,” Hakstol said. “He has meshed very well with (Yanni Gourde), and that chemistry has been good.”

Crouse put Arizona on the scoreboard at 4:44 of the second with his 23rd goal.

Soucy restored Seattle’s two-goal lead at the 11:58 mark. Just three minutes later, McCann picked up the puck behind his blue line, took it all the way to the top of Prosvetov’s goal crease and drilled hit past him for his team-leading 37th goal and a 4-1 lead.

Borgen, Bjorkstrand, Geekie and Donato added third-period goals to complete the rout.

“You don’t look too far back and you don’t look too far ahead,” Hakstol said. “You just worry about working and doing what you have to (in order) to go get two points — the score doesn’t matter.”

Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny saw some positives during the first two periods, but not in the third.

“We had good pace, good pressure, did a lot of good things to generate good scoring chances,” he said. “We were in it. I was happy with the play for most of the game. Like I said, we were doing a lot of good things, then we started to force the play a little bit.

“We just have to learn to remain a little bit patient.”

NOTES: McCann has three of Seattle’s five short-handed goals this season. … Daniel Sprong, Vince Dunn and Adam Larsson each had two assists. Dunn’s pair gave him 200 career points. … It was the first meeting this season between the Kraken and Coyotes — the 76th game for Seattle and 78th for Arizona. They’ll play twice more in the next seven days: Thursday in Seattle, next Monday in Tempe.

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