FINAL in OT: Seattle Kraken 5, Dallas Stars 4.
As expected in Game-1 the Dallas Stars came out flying on home ice against the Seattle Kraken with a goal at the 2:25 mark from veteran Joe Pavelski, fresh off missing five of six games in the opening round against the Minnesota Wild due to concussion. The shot along the ice beat Philipp Grubauer just inside the post stick-side.
Yet, it’s not as if the Kraken weren’t fully engaged. Kraken center Matty Beniers was robbed by Stars goalie Jake Oettinger moments before Pavelski’s opening goal, and Seattle’s Alex Wennberg rang a shot square off the left goal post moments after.
After that, Oettinger actually seemed a little shaky for awhile.
Holy moly, little did we know.
Kraken Goal Scorers:
1-1 Tie – Even Strength – Jaden Schwartz (3) from Morgan Geekie and Jordan Eberle, 11:25
The shot happened so quickly with Schwartz right in on top of Oettinger that it was tough to tell that he went five-hole.
— Joltin’ Joe Pavelski answered back just 53-seconds later with his 2nd of the night and 2nd of the postseason. Apparently he’s OK. He’s made a good living deflecting pucks in front and that’s exactly what he did here with Thomas Harley’s point shot.
2-2 Tie – Even Strength – Justin Schultz (2) from Ryan Donato, 14:28
Donato won a puck battle in the left corner and saucered a perfect pass to Schultz who ripped one high blocker from the right wing circle.
3-2 Kraken – Even Strength – Oliver Bjorkstrand (4) from Jamie Oleksiak and Will Borgen, 14:39
Eleven seconds later Bjorkstrand went high blocker from the right wing circle while shooting the puck instead of passing on a 2-on-1 rush.
4-2 Kraken – Even Strength – Jordan Eberle (2) from Vince Dunn and Matty Beniers, 15:20
Beautiful tip by Eberle cruising by in front on a left point wrister from Dunn.
No changes on the scoreboard.
The Kraken after two periods tallied 28 hits to 8 for the Stars. Shocking domination physically and it was reflected in the hard work that had the Kraken winning almost all of the board battles.
— After an initial surge by the Stars coming out of the dressing rooms, the Kraken quickly slanted the ice back in their favor, racking up opportunities, hardly sitting on the two-goal advantage. Matty Beniers had half a net to shoot at and rang one off the post four minutes into the period.
— Following a successful penalty kill the Stars gained momentum and yet another goal from Pavelski at 9:50 off a rebound on a shot by Jamie Benn from the right wing circle. It was a shot that served as a pass and Benn wired it off Grubauer’s right pad. The American Airlines Center came to life with Dallas cutting the Kraken lead to just 4-3.
— Guess who?! Joe Pavelski. Completing the score-a-goal-in-as-many-ways-as-possible, Pavelski batted in a puck near the right post to tie the game 4-4 at the 13:23 mark. Kraken 4, Pavelski 4.
5-4 Kraken – Even Strength – Yanni Gourde (2) Unassisted, 12:17
With second effort off a loose puck battle near the Dallas net, the puck popped loose to Gourde who spun and ripped it high short-side.
— Seattle outshot Dallas for the game 44-35. Power plays: Seattle 0-for-3, Dallas 0-for-2
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Jordan Eberle – A goal, an assist, a dominate puck battler. He finished with three shots in 19:30 of ice time.
2) Philipp Grubauer – Even though he went stretches without facing Grade-A chances, he was particularly good early and late, and you don’t win in the playoffs without confident goaltending. Multiple huge saves in overtime.
3) Vince Dunn – Piled up team leading time on ice (32:18), had 3 shots on goal, 5 blocked shots and notched an assist.