The Dallas Stars evened their second round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Seattle Kraken at one game apiece, winning Game-2 at American Airlines Center, 4-2.
During a dominant second period, in which Dallas outshot Seattle 19-9 and outscored them 3-1, I scribbled a prediction of what would be said later in the visitors’ dressing room: “We knew they were going to come out hard. We didn’t match their desperation.”
The game remained scoreless until Mason Marchment’s head snapped back far in excess of any contact with Carson Soucy. Perhaps a second shooter on the grassy knoll? For extra pathos, Marchment grabbed at his stomach. Even though Marchment was whistled for
bad acting embellishment, Soucy received an extra minor.
Seven seconds after the expiration of Soucy’s penalty, but before the Kraken could reassemble, Dallas wunderkind Wyatt Johnston put the Stars on the board first at 3:43. Evgenii Dadonov’s wraparound doubled the lead to 2-0 at 9:05.
If not for Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer having another excellent game tracking the puck, the middle period carnage could have been worse. During an on-bench TV interview, coach Dave Hakstol said his team had to stay out of the box.
Unfortunately, Kraken defenseman Will Borgen proceeded to commit an obvious and undisciplined penalty. Befitting a Texas rodeo, Borgen hog-tied Dadonov behind the Seattle net. On the ensuing power play, Game-1’s four goal man, Joe Pavelski, potted his fifth to put the home side up 3-1 at 16:57. Pavelski joked later, “I guess two weeks off (in concussion protocol for round one) is my sweet spot.”
Six minutes into period three, Jordan Eberle feeds cross-ice to Soucy, cutting to the net. Matty Beniers is so certain Soucy’s shot is going in, he raises his stick. But Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger slides post-to-post to keep the Stars lead at two.
Stars center Tyler Seguin scores on a deflection at 10:59 to put the game out of reach. Eberle tallies with 3:27 left and Grubauer off for an extra attacker, to fashion the final score at 4-2.
Kraken – Stars Quotes:
Coach Hakstol: “We didn’t spend enough time in the offensive zone generating opportunities.”
Defenseman Vince Dunn: “We need to be on our toes, more aggressive. I think we made the game a lot harder than it needed to be. Things we talk about all the time, we didn’t do every single shift.”
Stars coach Pete DeBoer: “We looked for a response, and I knew we’d get one. That’s our game. We knew we didn’t play our game for long enough in the first game. We still had some opportunities to win in overtime, but we wanted to make sure we put in a 60-minute effort tonight, and we got that from everybody.”
— And the children shall lead pt. 1: Johnston, who scored Dallas’ first goal, turns 20 in just over a week. In the regular season, Johnston tied Beniers for most rookie goals (24).
— And the children shall lead pt. 2: Kraken call-up sensation Tye Kartye, five days after celebrating his 22nd birthday, also scored in the middle period, to halve Dallas’s lead to 2-1. Kartye also contributed a couple of crushing hits, including sending Ty Dellandrea flying into the Dallas bench.
— Speaking of Beniers, Seattle’s Calder finalist continues absorb a great deal of punishment. In the third period, Jani Hakanpää rammed Beniers into the boards. Skating back to the bench, a stung Beniers was visibly angry, punching at the bench and doubling over.
— In the first period, the Kraken had just one more shot (5) than first period goals (4) in game one. For the game, Dallas outshot Seattle, 37-27.
— The Kraken did not have the benefit of a power play until the final seven minutes.
— Game-3 is scheduled for Sunday, May 7 at 6:30 pm PT at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.