Saturday, June 22, 2024

NHL Playoffs Round 2 Game 7 Preview: Seattle Kraken (3-3) at Dallas Stars (3-3)

SEATTLE KRAKEN NOTES:

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s matchup is the final game between the Kraken and the Stars in the Second Round.
  • With their Game 6 win over Dallas, the Kraken became the 10th team to debut in the League’s expansion era and win each of their first two or more potential elimination games according to NHL Stats.
  • Seattle’s four road wins are tied for the second most in the NHL this postseason. A win tonight would make them the second team to win at
    least five games while playing on the road, joining the Florida Panthers (six).
  • Yanni Gourde has totaled eight points (two goals, six assists) while playing on the road this postseason, which was good for seventh in the NHL entering play Sunday.
  • Entering play Sunday, Justin Schultz was ranked third among defensemen in postseason scoring with 10 points (three goals, seven assists). His 10 points make the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs the second-highest scoring postseason of his career, trailing only 2017 when he had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 21 games.
  • According to MoneyPuck.com, the line of Oliver Bjorkstrand, Yanni Gourde and Eeli Tolvanen was leading the league in expected goals for
    (5.7) entering play Friday.
  • Seattle’s second round series against Dallas will feature the youngest and oldest 50-point players from the regular season. Matty Beniers (20 years old) had 57 points in 80 games and Joe Pavelski (38 years old) had 77 points in 82 games.
  • The Kraken posted a 1-1-1 record against the Stars and a a 13-4-6 record against the Central Division during the 2022-23 regular season.

SEVENTH HEAVEN

  • The Kraken are the sixth franchise in NHL history to require a Game 7 in each of their first two playoff series and the first since the Minnesota Wild captured both during their run to the Western Conference Final in 2003.
  • If the Kraken are victorious tonight, they would become the second expansion franchise (Vegas) in NHL history to reach the conference finals within their first two seasons of play.
  • A win tonight would make the Kraken the sixth team to win their first two Game 7s and the third team to do so while playing both of those games on the road.
  • The Kraken can become the third franchise in NHL history to win each of its first two series via a Game 7.
  • A win would also make the Kraken the first team to win a Game 7 in both Round 1 and Round 2 of the same postseason since the New York Rangers did so last year.

DALLAS STARS NOTES:

HOW THE STARS-KRAKEN SERIES HAS UNFOLDED
Game 1: May 2, 2023 – STARS 4 vs. KRAKEN 5 (OT) | Seattle leads series 1-0
Despite a four-goal performance from forward Joe Pavelski (4-0—4), the Stars dropped Game 1 against the Seattle Kraken at American Airlines Center. Pavelski, who missed five games due to injury in the First Round vs. Minnesota, matched the franchise record for most goals in a playoff game – a feat previously established by Denis Gurianov (4-1—5 in Game 6 of 2020 R1). Forward Max Domi tied his postseason career high in assists (3) and points (0-3—3), defenseman Miro Heiskanen (0-1—1) picked up his seventh assist of the postseason and blueliner Thomas Harley (0-1—1) recorded his first career postseason point with an assist in the first period. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 39 saves on 44 shots in 72:17 TOI.
PP: 0-2 | PK: 3-3 | SF: 35 | SA: 44 | DAL TOI: M. Heiskanen (34:54 – game high) | Attendance: 18,532 (sellout)
Three Stars: 1. DAL – J. Pavelski 2. SEA – Y. Gourde 3. DAL – M. Domi

Game 2: May 4, 2023 – STARS 4 vs. KRAKEN 2 | Series tied 1-1
After a four-goal performance in his return to the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 1, forward Joe Pavelski added another one in Game 2 and helped the Stars even their Second Round series against the Kraken. Pavelski (5-0—5) joined Steve Payne (5 in 1981) as the second player in franchise history to record five goals over a two-game span in the postseason. Rookie forward Wyatt Johnston (1-1—2) also made an impact, becoming the sixth teenager in franchise history to record a multi-point game in the playoffs. Forward Tyler Seguin (1-1—2) tallied his fifth goal of the postseason, Evgenii Dadonov (1-0—1) scored his fourth of the playoffs and goaltender Jake Oettinger returned to form with a 25-save performance in net.
PP: 1-3 | PK: 1-1 | SF: 37 | SA: 27 | DAL TOI: M. Heiskanen (28:51 – game high) | Attendance: 18,532 (sellout)
Three Stars: 1. DAL – W. Johnston 2. DAL – J. Oettinger 3. DAL – T. Seguin

Game 3: May 7, 2023 – STARS 2 at KRAKEN 7 | Seattle leads series 2-1
Forward Mason Marchment (1-0—1) and defenseman Jani Hakanpää (1-0—1) tallied goals for the Stars, who fell 7-2 in Game 3 against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Sunday. Marchment’s goal gave him points in four of his past five playoff games (3-2—5) while Hakanpää’s tally marked his first career postseason goal. Captain Jamie Benn picked up his sixth assist (1-6—7) of the postseason and forward Evgenii Dadonov registered his sixth point (4-2—6) of the playoffs with a helper. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 12 saves on 17 shots in 40:00 and netminder Scott Wedgewood stopped six of eight in the third period.
PP: 0-3 | PK: 1-2 | SF: 26 | SA: 25 | DAL TOI: R. Suter (22:16) | Attendance: 17,151
Three Stars: 1. SEA – M. Beniers 2. SEA – P. Grubauer 3. SEA – C. Soucy

Game 4: May 9, 2023 – STARS 6 at KRAKEN 3 | Series tied 2-2
Led by a two-goal three-point performance (2-1—3) from forward Max Domi, a 31-minute night from defenseman Miro Heiskanen and offensive contributions throughout the lineup, the Stars earned a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena in Game 4, evening the series at two games apiece. Captain Jamie Benn (1-1—2), forward Joe Pavelski (1-0—1) and defenseman Thomas Harley (1-1—2) lit the lamp and Evgenii Dadonov (0-2—2) contributed two assists in the win. Goaltender Jake Oettinger improved to 4-0-0 in games following a loss in the 2023 postseason with a 16-save performance in net.
PP: 2-3 | PK: 2-2 | SF: 25 | SA: 19 | DAL TOI: M. Heiskanen (31:02 – game high) | Attendance: 17,151
Three Stars: 1. SEA – J. Schwartz 2. DAL – T. Harley 3. DAL – M. Domi

Game 5: May 11, 2023 – STARS 5 vs. KRAKEN 2 | Dallas leads series 3-2
Forward Roope Hintz led the offensive punch for the Stars with two goals and three points (2-1—3) in a 5-2 victory in Game 5 to give Dallas a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series against Seattle. Hintz recorded his fourth outing with three or more points and tied Brian Bellows (4 GP in 1991), Dave Gagner (4 GP in 1991) and Steve Payne (4 GP in 1981) for the most by a player in a single postseason in franchise history. Forward Jason Robertson picked up his third multi-point game of the playoffs with a career-best three-assist performance (0-3—3), forward Joe Pavelski tallied his seventh goal of the series and rookie Wyatt Johnston (19 years, 362 days) became the fourth teenager in franchise history to score three career playoff goals. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 29 saves on 31 shots in the win. The Stars, with a six-goal performance in Game 4, have scored five or more goals in consecutive playoff contests for just the third time in team history (also 3 GP from Game 6 of 2020 R1 – Game 2 of 2020 R2 & 2 GP from Games 4-5 of 2019 R1).
PP: 0-2 | PK: 2-2 | SF: 21 | SA: 31 | DAL TOI: M. Heiskanen (25:59 – game high) | Attendance: 18,532 (sellout)
Three Stars: 1. DAL – R. Hintz 2. DAL – J. Pavelski 3. DAL – J. Robertson

Game 6: May 13, 2023 – STARS 3 at KRAKEN 6 | Series tied 3-3
Despite goals from forwards Mason Marchment (1-0—1), Joe Pavelski (1-0—1) and Joel Kiviranta (1-0—1), the Stars came up short in a 6-3 defeat to the Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena in Game 6. After giving up the game’s opening goal, Dallas responded 31 seconds later with Marchment’s fourth goal of the playoffs. Then, trailing 4-1, Pavelski recorded his eighth goal of the series, setting a franchise record for most goal in a single series and tying Martin St. Louis (8 in 2014 w/ NYR) and Johnny Bucyk (8 in 1974 w/ BOS) for the most in a postseason by a player age 38 or older. Kiviranta’s first goal of the postseason came at the 8:58 mark of the third period to cut the deficit to two goals. Forwards Radek Faksa (0-1—1), Max Domi (0-1—1), Jason Robertson (0-1—1), Tyler Seguin (0-1—1) and defensemen Miro Heiskanen (0-1—1) and Thomas Harley (0-1—1) recorded assists. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 14 saves on 18 shots but was pulled after 24:23 TOT. Netminder Scott Wedgewood came on in relief and stopped nine of 10 in 32:48 TOT.
PP: 1-3 | PK: 2-3 | SF: 23 | SA: 29 | DAL TOI: M. Heiskanen (28:57 – game high) | Attendance: 17,151
Three Stars: 1. SEA – E. Tolvanen 2. SEA – Y. Gourde 3. SEA – M. Beniers

DALLAS STARS POSTSEASON NOTES
TONIGHT’S GAME: It all comes down to a do-or-die Game 7 tonight for the right to advance to the Western Conference Final. (7 p.m. CT, TV: ESPN, SN, TVAS, Radio: The Ticket 96.7-FM/1310-AM). For Dallas, a chance to get to the conference finals for the first time since 2020 when the club made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in the Edmonton bubble. For Seattle, an opportunity to win a Game 7 for the second consecutive series (also First Round vs. Colorado). Stars head coach Pete DeBoer enters tonight’s matchup with a 6-0 record in his NHL coaching career in Game 7s.

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE GAME 7

  • The Stars have skated in three winner-take-call contests in the past four years, with all three decided in overtime away from home. Dallas lost a 2-1 double-overtime decision at St. Louis in the Second Round in 2019, defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in the 2020 Second Round (bubble playoffs) and lost 3-2 at Calgary in the 2022 First Round. The Stars are vying for their first Game 7 win on home ice since topping the Avalanche in the 2000 Western Conference Final at Reunion Arena.
  • Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Stars’ most recent Game 7 and the standout performance of goaltender Jake Oettinger (64 saves) in their 3-2 overtime loss at Calgary. Oettinger became the second goaltender to record at least 60 saves in a Game 7, following the New York Islanders’ Kelly Hrudey (73 saves in the ‘Easter Epic’ 1987 Division Semifinals at Washington).
  • Forward Joe Pavelski is set to appear in his 10th career Game 7, becoming the 10th active player to reach double figures. Pavelski scored his eighth goal of the series in Game 6 to set a Stars franchise record and tied Martin St. Louis (NY Rangers, 2014) and Johnny Bucyk (Boston, 1974) for the most goals in a postseason (eight) by a player age 38 or older.
  • Stars head coach Pete DeBoer is 6-0 in Game 7s, collecting wins with three franchises (New Jersey, San Jose, Vegas). Two coaches have posted wins with four: Darryl Sutter (CHI, SJS, CGY & LAK) and Scotty Bowman (STL, MTL, PIT & DET). Tommy Ivan (4-0 with DET from 1949 to 1954) and Paul Maurice (4-0 with CAR, WPG and FLA from 2009 to 2023) are the only other head coaches in NHL history to win at least their first four career Game 7s. Overall, DeBoer is the fourth coach in NHL history with six Game 7 wins at any point in his career, following Sutter (8-3), Bowman (6-3) and Pat Burns (6-3).

Related Articles

Leather Head Sports

Latest Articles

Cellucor C4