Wennberg’s quick goal sends Kraken to 6-1 victory over Kings
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alex Wennberg scored 14 seconds into the game, Jared McCann got his team-leading 24th goal and the Seattle Kraken dominated on both ends of the ice in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.
Chris Driedger stopped 36 shots for the expansion Kraken, who have four wins in their last six games.
“We just looked like a complete hockey team out there tonight,” Driedger said. “It’s great to see those guys come together. Tons of communication, tons of energy, and seems like we were just sick of losing.”
Seattle had 14 of its 18 skaters record a point. Adam Larsson, Victor Rask, Jordan Eberle and Daniel Sprong also scored, and Vince Dunn added two assists.
“We got some breaks late in this game, but we earned everything in the first 35 minutes,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “We played hard with the puck. We put some miles on them defensively and that has a way of paying off later in games.”
Arthur Kaliyev scored and Cal Petersen made 32 saves for Los Angeles, which had earned at least a point in four of its last five. It was the 1,000th NHL regular-season game for Todd McLellan, making him the seventh active coach to reach the milestone.
The Kings are two points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division. The teams will meet twice in nine days, including Wednesday night in Edmonton.
Three of Los Angeles’ last six regulation losses have been by at least five goals.
“It was a lot of stuff that, obviously, didn’t go right and we didn’t do right. So this one definitely stings, especially the time and position we’re in,” center Anze Kopitar said. “It’s a hard one to swallow, but at the same time we’re leaving for three very important games on the road, so we’ll address this one, I’m sure, look at some stuff tomorrow and put it behind us and get ready for the next one.”
Wennberg put in a rebound after Petersen made a pad save on a wraparound attempt by Ryan Donato. Wennberg’s eighth goal of the season was the quickest in the Kraken’s short history, eclipsing Alex Eberle’s score 15 seconds into the Nov. 6 game at Arizona.
Seattle is the only team in the league this season that has twice scored within the first 15 seconds of a game.
“We get scored on in 14 seconds, and really, the goal, we were lazy. We got beat up the ice, and it just carried all the way through,” McLellan said.
McCann’s score on an odd-man rush extended Seattle’s lead to 5-1 and came during a three-goal third. McCann’s goal came 29 seconds after Eberle beat Petersen on a breakaway.
To show how bad of a night it was for Los Angeles, the Kraken’s final goal was credited to Sprong, but came after it hit the face of Kings defenseman Jordan Spence and went into the net at 12:13.
Larsson gave the Kraken a 2-1 advantage 8:24 into the first period with a shot through traffic from just above the right circle. It was the defenseman’s sixth goal this season and second in the last four games.
Rask extended the lead to two with a snap shot from the right circle that went into the far side of the net. It was Rask’s first goal with the Kraken since he was acquired from Minnesota on March 21.
Sprong scored in his third straight game since joining the Kraken. Acquired from Washington at the trade deadline, he matched Pittsburgh’s Danton Heinen for the longest goal streak by a player starting with a new team this season.
Kaliyev’s power-play goal 5:23 into the first period tied the game 1-all and extended Los Angeles’ streak in which it has scored with the man advantage to four games. That is the Kings’ longest streak since they had a six-game run last season.
Adrian Kempe did a nice job holding onto the puck and faked a shot to get Driedger out of position before passing to Kaliyev, who went top shelf. Kaliyev has 13 goals, tied for eighth among rookies.
McLellan is the 31st coach in NHL history to reach 1,000 regular-season games behind the bench. Of the seven active coaches, he is the third this season to accomplish it, joining Vancouver’s Bruce Boudreau and Vegas’ Peter DeBoer
McLellan is in his third season with the Kings. He was with the San Jose Sharks for seven years and the Edmonton Oilers for four. McLellan has a 520-368-112 regular-season mark.
Kraken: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.
Kings: Hit the road for three games in Canada, beginning Wednesday against Edmonton.
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