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Kraken top Coyotes in battle to escape West’s basement

Sportsnaut
Mar 22, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy (28) and Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz (8) go after a loose puck during the first period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Soucy scored twice as the expansion Seattle Kraken broke a tie with Arizona for last place in the NHL’s Western Conference, defeating the Coyotes 4-2 on Tuesday night in Glendale, Ariz.

Daniel Sprong, acquired a day earlier from the Washington Capitals at the NHL’s trade deadline, also tallied for the Kraken, who have won three of their past four games. Seattle’s Morgan Geekie added a goal and an assist, and Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves.

Nick Schmaltz and Nick Ritchie scored for Arizona, which was trying to complete a three-game sweep of the season series with the Kraken. Karel Vejmelka stopped 35 of 39 shots.

Soucy broke a 2-2 tie with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle at 17:18 of the second period, just seconds after an Arizona penalty expired. Geekie dug the puck out of the right corner and fed Ryan Donato in the near faceoff circle. Donato charged toward the net before pulling up and sending a cross-ice pass back to Soucy for what proved to be the winner.

Geekie took a cross-ice pass from Jared McCann and tapped the puck into a wide-open net at 12:38 of the third to help clinch the victory.

After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for five goals in the second — the first three coming in a span of 1:02.

The Coyotes struck first, with Schmaltz taking a backhanded pass from Clayton Keller and beating Grubauer with a one-time shot from between the hashmarks on a power play at 8:11.

The Kraken tied it just 18 seconds later on Soucy’s shot from the blue line past a screened Vejmelka.

The Coyotes regained the lead at 9:13 as Ritchie scored on a breakaway after taking a pass from Loui Eriksson.

Sprong tied it on the man advantage at 13:39, taking the puck over the blue line on the rush and beating Vejmelka high to the far post from just inside the top of the left faceoff circle.

–Field Level Media