SEATTLE (AP) — Daniel Sprong had a goal and two assists as the Seattle Kraken beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Buffalo and San Jose are the only teams that have lost three times to the Kraken since they joined the NHL as an expansion franchise last season. Buffalo has never beaten the Kraken.
“We couldn’t get in a rhythm,” said Sabres coach Don Granato. “(Seattle) had much better energy than us. We chased it. We had a lot of guys that didn’t look like themselves. It was a tough night as a result.”
Dylan Cozens scored for the Sabres.
Jack Quinn appeared to score a power-play goal for Buffalo early in the third, but a replay review showed the Sabres were offside. Beniers then scored on a power play at 9:45 to extend the Kraken’s lead. Sprong and Justin Schultz were credited with assists.
Cozens scored at 12:25 of the second off assists from Vinnie Hinostroza and Rasmus Dahlin, who leads NHL defensemen with nine points.
Dahlin entered on a five-game goal streak — the only defenseman in NHL history with a season-opening goal streak of five games or more.
Buffalo had 16 shots on goal, 13 below its average through the first five games, and the team’s fewest in 560 contests since recording 14 in a 5-3 loss at Florida on Feb. 28, 2015.
“We didn’t play very well,” Sabres captain Kyle Okposo said. “I just thought that they had much better jump than we did. We just couldn’t find it. When we did, we made a push and took a penalty in the offensive zone. We can’t do that. It killed any momentum.”
The Sabres recalled defenseman Lawrence Pilut from the Rochester Americans on Friday and he played his first NHL game since March 5, 2020.
Buffalo begins a four-game homestand Thursday night against Montreal.
Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak opened the scoring less than 2 1/2 minutes in. Morgan Geekie, Jordan McCann and Matty Beniers also scored for Seattle. Martin Jones made 15 saves.
It was the first matchup between Buffalo’s Owen Power and Beniers, the top two picks in the 2021 NHL draft and college teammates at Michigan.
Seattle jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, outshooting the Sabres 12-5. Oleksiak’s goal came at 2:20. Three minutes later, Geekie scored on a breakaway.
Sprong, who assisted on Oleksiak’s goal along with Yanni Gourde, made it 3-0 at 4:46 of the second.
The goals were the first of the season for Oleksiak, Geekie and Sprong.
McCann answered with a power-play goal late in the third. McCann, who leads the Kraken with four goals, tied a career high by scoring in three consecutive games.