The game goes to the most desperate and the Seattle Kraken certainly were desperate to not lose tonight. A loss for the Dallas Stars just means a game on Monday. The Seattle Kraken would have been packing their golf bags.
Still, to the Stars:
Well, it went about as bad as a first period can go. Sure, no one was injured and the score was only 2-1 by the end of it, but a firm foundation for a win it was not.
One team played like they wanted to play again on Monday night and one team played like they didn’t particularly care what happened. (Roope Hintz and Jake Oettinger are exempt from this descriptor.)
Nine minutes into the game, the Stars had only one shot on goal to the Kraken’s four, and Yanni Gourde scores off his own rebound after a bad Stars pass through the neutral zone got picked off by the Kraken.
The Stars were also on a line change, leading to some scrambling to get back to the net.
Thirty-one seconds later, Philipp Grubauer bites hard on Tyler Seguin’s odd man rush, but Seguin passes across the zone to a newly returned Mason Marchment. Justin Schultz tries to block, but the puck goes off his stick, off Marchment’s shin pad, and into the net.
It was a weird one, but they’ll take it.
The Stars took two back to back penalties, one on Thomas Harley and a tripping penalty on Jamie Benn. Both power plays were great for the Kraken, where the Stars struggled with clearing the zone. But it was the second power play that resulted in a goal for Jordan Eberle.
Oettinger lost sight of the rebound and couldn’t scramble back into the net fast enough.
Then Matty Beniers took a slashing penalty on Harley and the Stars had a power play to close out the period, resulting in three of the five shots on goal they had this period.
Shots: Stars 5, Kraken 16
Goals: Stars 1, Kraken 2
To say that the second period was better for the Stars is perhaps too kind, but there’s very little they could have done to make it worse. They had more shots on goal, their expected goal rate crept up to almost even with the Kraken, and they actually scored again. Unfortunately, the Kraken also scored again. Twice.
The Stars finish off their twenty-seven seconds of power play time with not a single shot on goal and Kraken score again less than two minutes into the period.
And then they score again a little under three minutes later.
And it’s this goal that Oettinger should have been able to save that ended up getting him pulled for the game. Sometimes pulling a goalie is about sending a message to the team and sometimes it’s about the goalie and this was probably both. The Stars don’t do well when Oettinger actually looks human.
Erstwhile Star Jamie Olekisak went to the box for interference and Joe Pavelski tipped in a shot from Miro Heiskanen for his 8th of the series. He’s now tied with Ovechkin for most post-season goals, and his next will put him in sole possession of the title. He also set a franchise record for most goals in a series, continuing a trend of setting records in losing efforts it seems.
And in the midst of some finally good momentum for the Stars, Tyler Seguin grabbed hold of Eberle’s stick right in front of a ref and went to the box for two minutes.
Shots: Stars 17, Kraken 24
Goals: Stars 2, Kraken 4
Pavelski and Robertson both rang the posts, the Stars had an embarrassingly bad power play for a team down two goals, and then the Kraken scored as soon as it was over.
And then just as Stars twitter was collectively about to turn the TV off, Joel Kiviranta scored his first of the playoffs. There’s a chance this may go to Ty Dellandrea after the off-ice officials review it, because it looked like it may have deflected off him, but currently it’s credited to Kiviranta.
And then nothing. The Kraken slowed the game down, trapped the puck along the boards, played keep-away, and eventually got the empty netter when the Stars pulled Wedgewood for the extra man. The Kraken live to fight another day and the Stars head home to Dallas for another round two game on Monday night.
Shots: Stars 23, Kraken 29
Goals: Stars 3, Kraken 6
Game 7 will be Monday night on ESPN. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm CST.