SEATTLE — Cale Makar had two goals and an assist, Andre Burakovsky scored two power-play goals and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Seattle Kraken 7-3 on Friday night.
Darcy Kuemper had 25 saves and Nazem Kadri extended his points streak to eight games with two assists for Colorado. The Avalanche has won four straight games, outscored opponents 24-7 during that streak and is 6-1-1 in its last eight after starting 1-3.
“I think it took a while to find some chemistry,” defenseman Erik Johnson said. “We had some COVID absences. We had some injuries and then I think we had a lot of new faces that had to acclimate adjust to our lineup and even a new goalie. So I think sometimes that takes time for guys and we’re finding our rhythm right now.”
Jordan Eberle, Brandon Tanev and Colin Blackwell scored for the Kraken, which lost its sixth straight and seven of eight. Chris Dreidger made his second start in goal for the Kraken, but he looked uncomfortable from the start and allowed four goals on Colorado’s first 13 shots, bookended by Burakovsky’s power-play goals.
“I think we just needed to go back to the simplicity of things and tonight you saw that it was one or two passes and then straight to the net,” Makar said. “And I think that’s just what we need to focus on more, is just having that attack mentality and creating chaos.”
The approach worked. Kraken coach Dave Hakstol pulled Dreidger at 5:33 of the second period for Philipp Grubauer, who didn’t fare much better, giving up three goals as the Avs built a 7-0 lead. The seven goals tied Seattle’s season high for goals allowed.
“There’s only one way out of it and that’s to keep grinding, that’s to stick together and that’s to find a way to dig out a win and all of a sudden the weight comes off and things head in the right direction,” Hakstol said. “We didn’t do that tonight. So that’s disappointing for everybody. But you have a choice ... to make, in terms of how you approach the next day.”
Hakstol announced Dreidger would start Friday morning over Grubauer, a finalist for the Veniza Trophy last year with the Avalanche. But, like his team, Grubauer struggled in his first month with Seattle with a 3.18 goals against average and a .877 save percentage. But the decision didn’t spark the Kraken.
Burakovsky got things rolling at 4:04 of the first period following Ryan Donato’s hooking minor. A few minutes later, two Kraken players collided on Seattle’s power play and Tyson Jost sent the loose puck ahead to Valeri Nichushkin, who beat Dreidger stick side on the breakaway at 6:39 for the Avs’ NHL-leading fourth shorthanded goal of the season.
Makar opened the scoring with an assist from Kadri at 3:01 of the second period and Burakovsky made it 4-0 with his second power play score at 5:33.
The Avs didn’t slow down, either: Makar scored his second goal with about eight minutes left in the second period from Darren Helm, and Johnson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel added goals for the Avs.
“I didn’t score on Grubie in four years of practice,” Johnson said. “Somehow I scored on him today.”
BEDNAR EXTENDED: The Avs signed coach Jared Bednar to a two-year extension that runs through the 2023-24 season before the game.
“I’m excited to be able to continue the work that we’ve started here with this group,” Bednar said. “I believe in this group a lot and I’m thankful for the opportunity from (management). We’ve got unfinished business and I’m happy to be part of it for a little while longer and try to get the job done.”
NOTES: Johnson’s goal gave him 62, moving him into a fourth-place tie with Rob Blake for most career goals for an Avs defenseman. … Eberle has scored a point in seven straight games. … With seven goals, Tanev has already matched his 2020-21 total. … Kuemper is 5-1 in his last six games.
Avalanche: Hosts Ottawa on Monday.
Kraken: Hosts Washington on Sunday.
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