Round 2, Game 6 Preview: Dallas Stars @ Seattle Kraken

The Kraken keep fighting back, but is that enough against a Stars team that appears ready to move on to the Western Conference Final?

Round 2, Game 6 Preview: Dallas Stars @ Seattle Kraken
Credit: Tim Heitman / Dallas Stars

Getting up early in the game is the recipe for success for the Dallas Stars. It's not like the team runs away with anything: it's not pretty and ultimately, its quite stressful but since we're all looking for wins, we might as well be results oriented.

The top line (insert preferred nickname here) is back. Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski are scoring, so Jason Robertson should be showing up any game now. The middle six are humming along and Radek Faksa - he of eight career playoff goals - is hitting his own version of beast mode.

There is still the nasty matter of needing to finish off the Seattle Kraken. In game six against the Minnesota Wild, the representatives of the State of Hockey knew that they'd been beat - so they conveniently rolled over. Somehow, you don't get the feeling that these Kraken are going to do that.

It's not that everybody doesn't know what's coming. Four lines hard charging into the zone, looking for bobbles, indecision or any other mishap in the Stars defense. After a game five where Dallas pushed the Seattle attack to the outside, expect the crease to be a war zone.

The Kraken don't have the Star Power that Dallas can ice. If that top end talent performs, this series should be over - but the Kraken aren't going to just fade away like the Wild.

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jason Robertson (21) – Roope Hintz (24) – Joe Pavelski (16)
Mason Marchment (27) - Max Domi (18) – Tyler Seguin (91)
Jamie Benn (14) – Wyatt Johnston (53) – Evgeni Dadonov (63)
Ty Dellandrea (10) - Luke Glendening (11) - Radek Faksa (12)

Ryan Suter (20) – Miro Heiskanen (4)
Esa Lindell (23) – Jani Hakanpää (2)
Thomas Harley (55) - Joel Hanley (44)

Jake Oettinger (29)
Scott Wedgewood (41)

Marchment skated on Friday and is with the team in Seattle. Officially, its a game time decision. Joel Kiviranta didn't add much to the Domi-Seguin line, while Dellandrea and the rest of the fourth line had a positive impact in the game five victory. If Marchment doesn't play, Dellandrea could get a shot to play up the lineup.

For all of the #FancyStats talk that followed game four, Heiskanen bounced back (in a big way). One reason not to fall into the trap of wildly swinging statistical variations for individual games. On a similar note, in spite of the frequent high flips and general inability to skate the puck out of the defensive zone, the Lindell-Hakanpää pair gave up no high danger chances in game five. Harley-Hanley had the off day.

Oettinger was average Oettinger, which isn't a bad thing.

Seattle Kraken Lineup

Jared McCann (7) - Matthew Beniers (10) - Jordan Eberle (7)
Jaden Schwartz (17) - Alexander Wennberg (21) - Morgan Geekie (67)
Eeli Tolvanen (20 - Yanni Gourde (37) - Oliver Bjorkstrand (22)
Brandon Tanev (13) - Ryan Donato (9) - Tye Kartye (52)

Vince Dunn (29) - Adam Larsson (6)
Jamie Oleksiak (24) - William Borgen (3)
Carson Soucy (28) - Justin Schultz (4)

Philipp Grubauer (31)
Martin Jones (30)

The Kraken are known for rolling four lines, all of which are hard on the forecheck. Scoring is by committee. But what happens when hard on the forecheck stops working?

Sure, the Stars resorted to unthreatening clears, sometimes ineffectively. Even with that, however, the Kraken struggled to find any opportunities in the crease, resorting instead to throwing the puck at the net (and, yes, that does work sometimes, witness Jared McCann and Seattle's second goal in game five).

Defensively, the Kraken's top pair held their own, giving up chances, but getting them at the other end. Borgen continues to struggle, and Soucy-Schultz had an uncharacteristically bad game.

Grubauer was average Grubauer, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

Keys to the Game

Close out Jake. Oettinger lives for these games and these games usually bring out his best.

The Best Line in Hockey. They're reunited, they're scoring, and unless Seattle can put them in a box, they're difference makers.

Who did what? Both teams have depth. It wouldn't be a surprise to find the game on the stick of someone playing down in the lineup.