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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brandon Tanev scored his second goal into an empty net with 1:21 left, and the Seattle Kraken beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 Thursday night for the first victory in the expansion franchise's second game.
The Kraken became the latest expansion franchise to win its first game with the Predators, improving that mark to 3-1-1. They joined Columbus (Nov. 16, 2000) and Vegas (Dec. 8, 2017) in that group.
Alex Wennberg and Jared McCann each had a goal and an assist for Seattle.
Tanev's second goal on Seattle's lone shot in the third period was the winner. Mikael Granlund scored with 39.9 seconds left to pull Nashville within 4-3. The Predators couldn't beat goalie Philipp Grubauer again, even with goalie Juuse Saros still out for the extra attacker.
Grubauer made 12 saves in the third as Nashville outshot Seattle 30-26 in the game.
Roman Josi and Eeli Tolvanen scored for Nashville. The Predators came in with a .614 winning percentage in season openers, fourth-highest in NHL history for franchises with at least 10 such games. The Predators also had won seven of their last eight home openers and 11 of 14.
This time, Nashville had a pair of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans wide receivers waving the rally flag to help kick off the new season in Julio Jones and Chester Rogers.
Tolvanen scored on Nashville’s first shot, from the slot 3:18 into the game. The lead didn’t last as Nashville’s penalty kill woes continued into the new season.
Yakov Trenin picked up a roughing and a fighting major in the first fight in Seattle history with Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn. But the minor gave Seattle the man advantage, and McCann scored on a wrister at 15:27. Then Alexandre Carrier tripped Alex Barret-Boule, and Tanev scored with 2:27 left in the period for a 2-1 lead.
Josi tied it up on a 5-on-3 early in the second. But Wennberg had an easy tap-in into an open net behind goalie Juuse Saros for another Seattle lead at 3-2 midway through the period.
The Predators gave a video tribute early in the first period to Jeff Camelio, the Kraken’s head equipment manager. Camelio spent 15 seasons as Nashville’s assistant equipment manager with the 2019-20 season his last with the Predators.
Seattle also has a pair of former Predators in forward Calle Jarnkrok, picked in the expansion draft after eight seasons with Nashville. Jarnkrok was one of 13 skaters in Nashville history to play at least 500 games with the franchise. Forward Colin Blackwell made his NHL debut with Nashville in 2018-19.
Neither played Thursday night, with Jarnkrok in the COVID-19 protocol and Blackwell dealing with a lower-body injury.
Predators forward Filip Forsberg had an assist on Josi’s goal, giving him at least a point in Nashville’s last five season openers. That’s the longest active scoring streak in the NHL in season openers, and he became the 12th player in NHL history to score in at least five straight openers.
The Kraken continue their franchise-opening road swing Saturday afternoon at Columbus.
Nashville hosts the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
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Teresa M. Walker, The Associated Press