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Mar 19, 2024 12:45 am

Jeff Skinner’s hat trick powers Sabres past Kraken

Sabres, Kraken

Jeff Skinner scored three goals as the Buffalo Sabres continued their playoff push with a 6-2 victory against the host Seattle Kraken on Monday night.

Skinner completed his hat trick at 18:01 of the third period on a wrist shot from the slot. It was his seventh career hat trick, his first since a four-goal game on Feb. 13, 2022, at Montreal.

Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch each had a goal and an assist and Owen Power also scored for the Sabres (33-31-5, 71 points), who won for the fourth time in five games to pull within four points of the second and final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Zemgus Girgensons added two assists and goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 32 saves as Buffalo beat the Kraken for the first time in six all-time meetings.

Jordan Eberle and Matty Beniers scored and Eeli Tolvanen had two assists for Seattle (28-27-12, 68 points), which finished 0-4-1 on its homestand to drop 11 points back in the West’s wild-card race.

Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord was pulled after allowing three goals on four shots in the opening 5:41. Philipp Grubauer went the rest of the way, stopping 23 of 26 shots.

The Sabres scored in bunches.

Buffalo was up 3-2 before Power and Skinner tallied 42 seconds apart midway through the second period to help the visitors pull away.

Power’s goal came on a rebound off the post at 10:36, after Dylan Cozens redirected JJ Peterka’s original attempt.

Skinner scored his second at 11:18, beating a screened Grubauer from the mid-slot.

Both teams scored on their opening shots.

Eberle gave the Kraken the lead 24 seconds in on a wrist shot from the high slot.

The Sabres tied it 25 seconds later. Girgensons left a drop pass for Thompson, who beat Daccord high to the glove side with a wrist shot from just outside the right faceoff dot.

Skinner gave Buffalo the lead on a three-on-two rush at 3:56 of the first on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle high to the goalie’s stick side.

The Sabres chased Daccord on Tuch’s low wrist shot from the high slot at 5:41.

The Kraken pulled within 3-2 with a power-play goal at 14:36 of the first.

Tolvanen’s slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle deflected off Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton and Beniers before floating over an unsuspecting Luukkonen’s shoulder and off the right post. The puck settled inches in front of the goal line, with Beniers poking it into the net just before Power, Beniers’ former University of Michigan teammate, could clear it.

–Field Level Media

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