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Kraken have four-goal first period in win over Sharks

Seattle Kraken celebrate Seattle Kraken celebrate - The Canadian Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Oliver Bjorkstrand and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist in Seattle’s four-goal first period and the Kraken beat the NHL-worst San Jose Sharks 7-1 on Wednesday night.

Brandon Tanev and Adam Larsson also scored in the opening 20 minutes to help the Kraken get to the .500 mark for the first time this season at 8-8-5. They won for the fourth time in 10 home games, and have points in their last five games.

Jared McCann scored his team-leading ninth goal early in the second, Eeli Tolvanen added two third-period goals and Joey Daccord made 13 saves. Bjorkstrand finished with three assists and Jamie Oleksiak had two.

“I think we’re feeling it,” Bjorkstrand said. “Maybe a few lucky bounces off the glass, but no, we like playing together, and I think it just kind of went our way today. First period was a little bit back and forth. I mean, I thought we created some good chances. And in the second period, I think we kind of took over.”

Mike Hoffman scored for San Jose in the third. The Sharks are 0-9 on the road and 3-15-1 overall.

“That was embarrassing. We weren’t ready to play,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “Two breakaways in the first minute and a half – just absolutely embarrassing. We lost every single battle, got beat off the walls, and every time there was a 50-50 puck battle, we were fishing for pucks and got on the wrong side of it.

“When you don’t skate and just run around chasing the puck, that’s what’s going to happen.”

Sharks starter Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 13 of the 17 shots he faced in the first period. Mackenzie Blackwood took over at the start of the second and had 10 saves.

Seattle needed only 1:28 to go in front. Alex Wennberg got the puck ahead to Tanev streaking down the center. Tanev poked a backhander through Kahkonen’s legs.

Bjorkstrand made it 2-0 with 9:24 left in the period with a shot from low in the right circle. Just 31 seconds later, Larsson fired from the right circle, sending it over Kahkonen’s glove and just under the crossbar. Gourde made it 4-0 with 1:15 left.

“We were ready to go at the drop of the puck,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We came out, we scored early, but just the way we played from the drop of the puck, I thought, really, it put the momentum where we needed it to be.”

The four goals tied for the second-most first-period goals in franchise history. The first has been Seattle’s most productive period this season, with 25 of its 60 goals.

“The ability to score and knowing that you can feel confident in that ability,” Hakstol said. “I think brings a little bit of swagger to our team, and that’s one of the things that we’ve been looking to add.”

Daccord was 4:28 away from his first NHL shutout. He got his ninth start of the season with Philipp Grubauer out with an undisclosed injury sustained Monday against Calgary. Hakstol said Grubauer is day-to-day.


Sharks: Host Montreal on Friday.

Kraken: Host Vancouver on Friday night.