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It Wasn’t Pretty But We’ll Take It: The Dallas Stars Story

Credit: Tim Heitman / Dallas Stars

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The Dallas Stars certainly have made it an interesting series against the Seattle Kraken. Two blow out games in one series? Exciting! Pulse pounding! Potentially deadly, depending on your blood pressure woes.

First Period

First off, please note that the first period was both better and worse than it appears on paper. Yes, the Stars scored twice in rapid succession and that was pretty great.

Jamie Benn got the puck behind the Seattle net and Wyatt Johnston was in the perfect position for a centering pass.

Less than two minutes later, the Kraken have what turns out to be a disastrous turnover in the Stars zone. Thomas Harley skates the puck up the ice and finds Roope Hintz at the top of the circle.

And then the Stars spent the rest of the period battling the puck in their own end. Jani Hakanpaa had a sick number of turnovers. The Stars only had two more shots on goal the entire period, 14 minutes of game play.

The thing that actually saved their bacon in the first was keeping the Kraken out of the high danger area in the crease. Below is a shot map of where the Kraken took their 14 shots from, including misses. That empty area in front of the net is what the Kraken simply couldn’t find for the entirety of the first period.

Which is great news for Dallas, because Jake Oettinger still got a workout and never got cold, but didn’t really have to work as hard as he might have if they’d been shooting from his doorstep.

Still, shots. Please take shots, Stars.

Shots: Stars 5, Kraken 14
Goals: Stars 2, Kraken 0

Second Period

Less than a minute into the second period, Joe Pavelski picked up his own rebound and scored his 7th of the series, which made him the oldest player on record to score seven goals in one series. So there’s that.

But then the Kraken finally found the holes in the Stars defense. It all started when Jordan Eberle found Adam Larsson right in front of the net.

The Stars are called for a bench minor, too many men on the ice, and while the Stars have just as many shots on the ensuing penalty kill as the Kraken (one each), the Kraken do manage to score on a Jordan McCann shot from Puget Sound. It’s his first of the playoffs.

Almost halfway through the game, the Stars had only 8 shots on net, which means they got 8 shots between the Kraken’s second goal and the end of the period. Score effects are real and real brutal.

Roope Hintz took a questionable penalty but about 3o seconds in, Justin Schultz takes just as questionable a penalty, setting up some 4×4 action, then giving the Stars their first power play of the game. With 16 seconds left to go in the period, Jason Robertson draws a penalty on a drive to the net, giving the Stars the man advantage to start the third.

Shots: Stars 16, Kraken 22
Goals: Stars 3, Kraken 2

Third Period

The Stars did nothing with the man advantage to start the period. No shots, no offensive zone time, nothing.

While the Kraken had more going on offensively this game than the Stars did (in every metric except goals), the Stars defense held tight, and Oettinger continued to shine when needed. Grubauer couldn’t compete.

Roope Hintz scored off a centering feed from Joe Pavelski. The slow motion close up of this goal is beautiful, he protected the puck from Grubauer’s poke check and elevated it to the high corner. It was at first waived off but then the goal horn sounded.

The Kraken Grubauer with 3:33 left in the game, giving Radek Faksa room for an empty netter.

Shots: Stars 21, Kraken 31
Goals: Stars 5, Kraken 2

The series returns to Seattle on Saturday for a 6 pm CST puck drop from Climate Pledge Arena.

Talking Points