Devils deal Kraken 4-2 loss ahead of Seattle's home opener

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rookie Dawson Mercer and Damon Severson scored first-period goals and Jonathan Bernier made 27 saves, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 4-2 win over the expansion Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.

© Provided by The Canadian Press

The Devils won their second straight to start the season. Seattle slipped to 1-3-1 on its five-game road trip ahead of its much-anticipated home opener against Vancouver on Saturday night.

Jimmy Vesey added a goal and Pavel Zacha scored into an empty net with 20 second left to seal the win.

Riley Sheahan and Jared McCann scored for Seattle, which slipped to 1-3-1. Joey Daccord made 28 saves.

Mercer opened the scoring at 5:02 of the first, knocking the puck past Daccord, who was in net in place of expected starter Chris Driedger who was put on injured reserve after playing part of Monday’s 6-1 loss at Philadelphia. Tomas Tatar and Ryan Graves registered assists.

Severson made it 2-0 at 6:42 of the first with his first goal of the campaign, with assists going to Graves and Jack Hughes

Hughes was ridden hard into the boards by Seattle defenseman Jeremy Lauzon shortly after New Jersey’s second goal and didn’t return.

The Kraken cut the deficit to 2-1 on a goal by Sheahan midway through the second period. The former Penguins forward fired a rebound past Bernier at 10:05. Assists went to Adam Larsson and Vince Dunn.

Vesey restored the two-goal lead for the Devils at 14:48 of the second. Andreas Johnsson and Colton White assisted on Vesey’s first goal with New Jersey.

Seattle appeared to make it a 3-2 with just over three minutes left in the second. But an apparent goal by Alex Wennberg was ruled to be offsides after a challenge by the Devils.

The Kraken cut the deficit to a goal, scoring on a 5-on-3 at 14:48 when McCann converted for his third goal of the season. Mark Giordano and Yanni Gourde assisted.

The teams played a spirited first with the Devils dominating and outshooting and visitors 14-7. New Jersey had a power play in the closing seconds and Devils captain Nico Hischier tipped a shot past Daccord as time expired.

The contest also had a feisty tone throughout.

Seattle’s Brandon Tanev fought New Jersey’s Michael McLeod 2:27 into the game in front of the team benches.

New Jersey’s Mason Geertsen fought Lauzon at 1:55 of the second, and Ryan Donato of Seattle had a scrap with Jonas Siegenthaler of New Jersey late in the middle period.

Former Islander Jordan Eberle had a breakaway 15 minutes into the first but was denied by Bernier.

SEASON DEBUT

Seattle center Yanni Gourde, who won the Stanley Cup the past two years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, made his Kraken debut on a line with Jaden Schwartz and former Islander Jordan Eberle.

KRAKEN BREAKDOWN

Seattle has eight players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, six in the second round, two in the third round, three in the fourth round and one in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

SCRATCHES

The Kraken scratched defensemen Will Borgen and Haydn Fleury, and forward Alex Barre-Boulet. Former Rangers player Colin Blackwell has yet to play a game for the Kraken because of a lower-body injury. Forward Calle Jarnkrok, who was in COVID protocol to start the season, also has yet to play a game for Seattle. … The Devils scratched forwards Frederik Gauthier and Marian Studenic and defenseman Christian Jaros.

UP NEXT:

Devils: Host Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Kraken: Host Vancouver Canucks on Saturday in their home opener and the first game of a four-game homestand.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Allan Kreda, The Associated Press

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