SEATTLE (AP)Ryan Donato scored in the shootout for Seattle and New Jersey missed all three of its attempts, with two saved by Phillip Grubauer, as the Kraken beat the Devils 4-3 on Saturday night.
Rookie Matty Beniers scored his first NHL goal, which gave Seattle a 3-2 lead at 16:57 of the second period. Will Borgen and Carson Soucy also scored for the Kraken, who snapped a two-game skid.
”I felt Matty played a real solid hockey game, he and his linemates,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol, who had Beniers on the ice to start the game, again to start overtime, and then had him take the second shootout attempt.
”He made some plays at critical times,” he added, ”which you’re looking for.”
Jesper Bratt, Jesper Boqvist and Damon Severson scored for New Jersey, which lost its second in a row after winning the first two games of a five-game Western Conference road trip.
The Kraken went first in the shootout, with Donato getting Nico Daws to move to his right, and Donato then went around Daws’ left and tucked it into the net.
Grubauer then saved Tomas Tartar’s shot. After Beniers hit his try off the left post, Grubauer stopped Bratt’s shot. Daws saved Daniel Sprong’s try, leaving the Devils with one more chance to tie it. But Yegor Sharangovich sent his shot off the right post – ending the game.
Beniers, the No. 2 overall choice in last year’s draft out of Michigan, made his NHL debut Tuesday at Calgary. He recorded an assist in a 5-3 loss.
His goal Saturday came on a power play and gave the Kraken a 3-2 lead at the 16:57 mark of the second period. Defenseman Vince Dunn, playing on the left wing side, ripped a shot from the blue line that slammed off the inside of the post. The puck dribbled through the blue paint toward the right side, and Beniers rushed in to sweep it into the net past Daws.
”Someone had a nice tip, and I’m just crashing the net and it popped out to me,” Beniers said. ”It was kind of a lucky goal for me – you don’t get many of those that pop out and are just sitting there in the crease and you just pop it in.”
Added Hakstol: ”The creativity is there, and as he gets more confidence, we’ll see more of that.”
Making his home debut, Beniers said: ”It was a lot of fun. Hopefully, we’ll put one in the back of the net next time before we get to a shootout. But we got the win, and that’s all that matters.”
Through regulation and overtime, Grubauer and Daws each made 23 saves.
Severson had tied it at 3 at 4:55 of the third, lifting a shot from the inside edge of the right circle over Grubauer for his 11th.
The Devils built a 2-1 lead in the first period on Bratt’s 25th goal of the season and Boqvist’s eighth – sandwiched around Borgen’s goal that tied it at 1.
New Jersey went 0 for 3 on the power play Saturday. The Devils are 0 for 24 in their last nine games and 1 for 35 in their last 10 road games.
”Our power play wasn’t good enough,” New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. ”We could have generated some momentum, we could have generated some good energy, but we didn’t. We’ve had some power plays that have been good, where we should have scored.
”We had some looks that we didn’t take advantage of. We could have taken a two-goal lead, and that was a letdown for us. That had the biggest impact on the game.”
NOTES: Beniers’ power-play goal ended an 0-for-16 Kraken drought with the extra man that was in its ninth game Saturday. … Bratt’s game-opening goal for New Jersey was the 200th point of his career. All 200 have come with the Devils, who drafted him in the sixth round in 2016.
Devils: Play at Vegas on Monday night.
Kraken: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.
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