No go Kraken.
Game-4 went the way of the visitors at Climate Pledge Arena with the Dallas Stars playing a tight-checking style with a variety of effective break-outs to take the speed out of the well known Kraken forecheck.
They scored first, took the crowd out of it, and smothered the Seattle transition game. A.k.a., the perfect road game.
Seattle came on strong in the 3rd period, but it was way-too-little, way-too-late.
The Dallas Stars came out as expected. Much more conscientious with the puck and much more dialed in on the forecheck than in Game-3 when they fell apart in the 2nd period.
The Kraken were clearly not as sharp. They gave up the first goal transitioning out of a 4-on-4 situation into a Dallas power play. Seattle had a chance to mount a rush with ten seconds remaining at 4-on-4 even strength, but instead gave up puck possession in the offensive zone and settled back into the penalty kill. It didn’t work. Stars captain Jamie Benn scored off the very next rush.
The goal came at 17:13 of the 1st period. Shots ended up 11-5 in favor of the Stars.
Things loosened up a bit for the Kraken early on, but only a little bit. They gained the Dallas zone with more regularity, but were unable to get pucks to the net.
The next goal came for Dallas off the rush again, with a series of drop passes. Defenseman Thomas Harley was the man with the last touch. He fired home a shot from the left circle to make it 2-0 Stars at 4:46.
The Stars would score again at 9:25 with Max Domi lighting the lamp, but Jamie Benn was accused of pushing Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer out of the way and the tally was reviewed. Apparently “Grooby” was outside the crease and may have had time to re-position himself because the goal counted.
In a hole, things got chippy as the Kraken tried to get the crowd back into things. It likely was also just a sign of frustration down 3-0.
A minute and twenty-five seconds later the cagey, wiley veteran Joe Pavelski would score to make it 4-0 on the power play, his 6th goal of the series.
Kraken Goal Scorers:
4-1 Stars – Even Strength – Jaden Schwartz (4) from Justin Schultz and Morgan Geekie, 11:46
Schwartz went to the net and finished off a series of passes with a redirection in front.
— Dallas would get it back in the final minute. Roope Hintz restored the four goal cushion with his 6th of the postseason at 19:07 to make it 5-1.
— For the second consecutive period the Stars outshot the Kraken 11-5 and the Dallas power play stood at 2-for-3.
5-2 Stars – Even Strength – Jaden Schwartz (5) from Oliver Bjorkstrand and Vince Dunn, 3:24
On a delayed penalty call against Dallas and an extra attacker on the ice for Dallas, Schwartz went top shelf from the slot.
— Seattle ended up with a power play with a little more than eight minutes remaining. They failed to click. Clock became the enemy.
5-3 Stars – Even Strength – Adam Larsson (1) from Vince Dunn and Matty Beniers, 15:49
Larsson ripped a one-timer from the left point off of sustained pressure in the Dallas zone.
— Down two goals Seattle pulled the goalie with four minutes remaining. Domi would score into the empty net with 2:21 remaining.
— Dallas finished with more shots on goal, 25 to 19. Power plays: Dallas 2-for-3, Seattle 0-for-2. The Kraken PK that came into the game with a remarkable 23-for-26 kill rate, showed chinks in the armor.
— With the series tied 2-2, Game-5 is Thursday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas.