Wennberg, McCann lead Kraken to 4-2 win over Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Alex Wennberg and Jared McCann each had a goal and an assist, and the Seattle Kraken beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 Friday night for their third straight road win and a season series sweep.
Joran Eberle and Brandon Tanev also scored for Seattle, and Vince Dunn had two assists. Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 shots for the Kraken, who stayed ahead of Edmonton for third place in the Pacific Division — two points behind Los Angeles and Vegas.
“We had a really consistent effort,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “I liked our third period. We came out and were on our toes in the third period—could have easily stretch the lead in the first part of that period. That didn’t happen, but we responded well and were able to close out the game.”
Adam Boqvist and Patrik Laine each had a goal and an assist for Columbus, which has lost two of its last three games and remains in the NHL basement. Elvis Merzlikins, in his first game as the Blue Jackets’ full-time starter after the trade of Joonas Korpisalo to Los Angeles, stopped 34 shots.
“It wasn’t like a terrible effort,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “I know there’s another level of competitiveness at the puck that’s going to be required. We could have killed a lot more plays and had the puck more.”
Laine put Columbus on the board at 10:18 of the second period with the first power-play goal given up by Seattle in nine games dating back to Feb. 14.
The lead was short-lived, as Seattle got two goals in 48 seconds — one from McCann and the other on the power-play from Eberele.
Boqvist pulled Columbus even at 4:53 of the third, but a goal from Wennberg against his former team 9 seconds into a Kraken power-play, his first since Jan. 28, to put Seattle up for good at 7:12.
“It’s nice to have success and score against your former team,” Wennberg said. “Right now it doesn’t matter who scores. It’s important to win the game.”
Tanev scored the empty-netter with 47.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.
HELLO AND GOODBYE
The Blue Jackets had a new face in the backup goalie spot after welcoming Michael Hutchinson from Vegas as part of a flurry of trades that also sent defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goalie Joonas Korpisalo west to Los Angeles.
Columbus forward Sean Kuraly suffered a left oblique strain in practice Thursday and will be sidelined the remainder of the season. Oliver Bjorkstrand, in his first Columbus appearance since being traded to Seattle in the off-season, left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.
FIVE TO SURVIVE
McCann's assist on Eberle's goal extended his point streak to five games, matching his career high.
Kraken: At Colorado on Sunday night.
Blue Jackets: At Ottawa on Saturday night.
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Nicole Kraft, The Associated Press