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McCann, Eberle lead way as Kraken beat Canucks 5-2, extending Vancouver's skid to 4

SEATTLE (AP) — Jared McCann had a goal and three assists, Jordan Eberle added two goals and an assist and the Seattle Kraken beat NHL-leading Vancouver 5-2 on Thursday night, handing the Canucks their fourth straight loss.

Vince Dunn and Justin Schultz also scored for the Kraken, who took the season series against their Pacific Northwest rival and are 3-0-1 since a 2-7-1 skid. Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves in his first home start and second overall since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 9.

“It was a solid performance all the way through,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “We got good contributions from everybody. Our play with the puck drove a lot of our success tonight. Moving the puck, taking care of it, making good, hard plays and getting through the neutral zone. We played fast.”

McCann had the first four-point game of his nine-year career. He has 11 goals and 11 assists in his past 15 games.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence,” Hakstol said. “He’s feeling a lot of confidence with the puck coming off his stick.”

J.T. Miller and Sam Lafferty scored for Vancouver, which is 3-5-1 since a 12-game point streak. Thatcher Demko made 26 saves.

The Canucks fell into a tie with Boston — which lost to Calgary 3-2 in overtime on Thursday — atop the NHL standings at 80 points. Prior to its current four-game skid, Vancouver hadn’t lost more than two straight all season.

The Canucks went scoreless on all four power-play opportunities. They are 1 of 28 on power plays over their past nine games.

“Not much compete from the guys,” Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. “That’s on me. I’ve gotta take the blame for that. I didn’t get the guys to compete hard enough, so I’ll take the heat on this one. There were a lot of no shows tonight.”

Miller opened the scoring 4:34 into the first period, when he poked in a loose puck after Grubauer lost his stick behind the net. It was Miller’s 29th goal of the season and fifth in his past three games.

Dunn tied it at 13:22 of the first, one-timing a slap shot from the point.

McCann gave Seattle a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal 20 seconds into the second. He snagged the puck off a clearance attempt and fired his team-leading 25th into the upper-right corner.

Vancouver tied it 2-2 at 4:57 when Pius Suter’s shot pinballed into the net off Schultz’s skate and Lafferty’s shoulder.

Seattle regained the lead when Schultz fired a slap shot from the right point at 13:28 of the second.

Eberle gave Seattle a 4-2 lead just 1:11 later, burying his own rebound after a nice pass from McCann behind the net. He added an empty-netter for his 12th of the season, including his eighth in the past 15 games.

“I still think we have another level, and I think we got to it tonight,” Eberle said. “That’s kind of the standard for us, and we need to find a way to get that consistency each night.

“And if we do that down the stretch and we find a way (into the playoffs), we’ll be a dangerous team.”

UP NEXT

Canucks: Host Boston on Saturday to begin a three-game homestand.

Kraken: Host Minnesota on Saturday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Cameron Van Til, The Associated Press