SEATTLE (AP) — Jordan Eberle had the first hat trick in franchise history with three goals in less than 10 minutes of the second and third periods, and the Seattle Kraken beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Thursday night.
The loss capped a long, emotional day for the Sabres that began with the trade of former captain Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights and ended with Buffalo’s third straight on its West Coast swing.
Seattle snapped a two-game losing streak. Morgan Geekie scored his second goal of the season and first since opening night to give Seattle an early 1-0 lead. Jaden Schwartz had two assists and added an empty net goal in the closing moments. Alex Wennberg also had two assists.
Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer was rarely tested and finished with 19 saves.
Kyle Okposo and Tage Thompson scored for Buffalo. Dustin Tokarski made 33 saves.
Eberle has scored five goals in the last five games after a frustrating stretch early in the season.
Eberle scored his first goal 26 seconds after Okposo had given Buffalo a 2-1 lead late in the second period. Okposo scored on a power play to put the Sabres in front, but Eberle was left alone in front of the net and beat goalie Dustin Tokarski.
Less than 2 minutes into the third, Eberle again got the better of Tokarski, flipping a shot over his blocker. He capped the hat trick at 8:06 with a measured slap shot that got through Tokarski and sent hats flying onto the ice of Climate Pledge Arena for the first time.
It was the fourth hat trick of Eberle’s career and first since Feb. 21, 2020, while playing for the New York Islanders against Detroit.
Thompson scored his third of the season in the second period, and Okposo’s third goal gave Buffalo a lead that didn’t last 30 seconds.
Buffalo played its second straight game without leading scorer Victor Olofsson, who is out for an undisclosed reason. Olofsson played in the first game of the Sabres’ West Coast swing, but missed Tuesday’s loss to San Jose and Thursday’s game.
It took five home games, but the Kraken finally had their first true fight in their home arena. Jamie Oleksiak and Buffalo’s John Hayden dropped the gloves late in the first period. The bigger Oleksiak landed several shots and took Hayden down to the ice. Hayden also picked up a penalty for roughing and Seattle’s first goal came just after the power play ended.
NOTES: Rasmus Asplund recorded an assist on Thompson’s goal to extend his point streak to five games. … The last hat trick for an expansion team came from William Karlsson for Vegas during the 2017-18 season. Karlsson’s hat trick didn’t happen until March 2018 against Calgary. … Seattle was 0 for 4 on the power play and is 3 for 36 on the season.
Sabres: Hosts Detroit on Saturday.
Kraken: Travels to Arizona on Saturday.
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