Morgan Geekie broke his 29-game goalless drought as the Seattle Kraken defeated the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 Saturday night and moved into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division in their final game before the NHL’s All-Star break.
Alex Wennberg and Eeli Tolvanen also scored for the Kraken, who went 3-1-1 on a five-game homestand. Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves.
Rookie Kent Johnson tallied for Columbus, which completed a 1-2-1 trip. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 28 of 31 shots for the Blue Jackets, who have the fewest points (33) in the league.
The Kraken took a 1-0 lead through one period while outshooting Columbus 12-4.
Defenseman Carson Soucy forced a turnover at center ice that led to Brandon Tanev skating the puck over the blue line. Tanev dropped a pass for Geekie, who faked a slap shot before putting a wrister into the upper left corner of the net from between the top of the faceoff circles at 8:40.
The Kraken doubled their lead at 8:33 of the second. Jared McCann corralled a rebound in the left-wing corner and fed a pass to Jordan Eberle behind the net. Eberle skated back above the goal line before making a short pass to Wennberg, who had moved to the top of the crease. The former Blue Jackets player chipped the puck over a sprawling Merzlikins.
Columbus finally got on the board at 18:58 of the second. Following a Seattle turnover, Jack Roslovic picked up the loose puck just outside the blue line and skated down the right wing. He centered the puck for Johnson, who put a one-timer high into the right corner of the net from between the hashmarks.
The Kraken made it 3-1 at 5:39 of the third as Oliver Bjorkstrand, acquired in an offseason trade with Columbus, forced a turnover at center ice and fed Tolvanen, who used a defenseman as a screen and beat Merzlikins with a wrister from between the top of the faceoff circles. It was Tolvanen’s third straight game with a goal.
–Field Level Media