3 Takeaways From Kraken’s 4-2 Loss to the Stars in Game 2

After an exciting Game 1 overtime victory, the Seattle Kraken came out flat in Game 2, falling 4-2 to the Dallas Stars. While the score was close, Dallas was the better team from start to finish as they tied the second-round series at 1-1. Here are three takeaways from the game.

Faceoff Problems

One of the biggest issues that continue to plague this Kraken team is the ability to win faceoffs. In Game 2, Seattle won just 20 of their 64 faceoffs which included going four for 18 in the defensive zone. The poor execution in the faceoff dot ended up costing the Kraken on the scoreboard as Dallas’s fourth goal was scored directly off a lost faceoff. All night, Seattle was chasing the puck, with a big reason being their inability to win a faceoff.

2023 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Seattle Kraken Dallas Stars
Seattle Kraken Dallas Stars (The Hockey Writers)

Seattle has not been a good faceoff team all year, but their performance against the Stars has been extremely concerning. They have won 48 of the 131 faceoffs they have taken and have a 35.9% win percentage in the defensive zone. If they have intentions of winning this series, they will need to find a way to win more faceoffs, as right now, their inability to do well in the dot is costing them on the scoresheet.

Tye Kartye Continues To Deliver

Tye Kartye once again delivered for the Kraken, as he was one of their best forwards despite only playing 11:32 of ice time. He scored Seattle’s first goal of the game and was physical all night as he finished with five hits. He also recorded a blocked shot and finished with the second-highest even strength expected goals for percentage on the Kraken. For a 22-year-old who had never played an NHL game before jumping into action during Game 5 of the Colorado series, he looks like he belongs and continues to impress every time he steps on the ice.

Related: Kraken Prospect Report: Tye Kartye Scores in 1st NHL Game

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While he has only played five games in his NHL career, Kartye has shown enough to warrant more ice time. The American Hockey League (AHL) Rookie of the Year has shown he can play with Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle to the point where these two have seen a dip in production this postseason when he is not on their line. So far, he has played virtually mistake-free hockey and deserves a chance to show what he can do with more ice time.

Game 2 Analytics Not Kind To Seattle

The analytics show just how badly outplayed the Kraken were in Game 2. Not only were they outshot by ten, but they also gave up 17 even-strength high-danger chances while only having eight themselves. In fact, all four goals that Philipp Grubauer gave up were considered high-danger chances, with all of them coming within 17 feet of the net. They were dominated in every single category at even strength as they played one of their worst games from an analytical perspective so far this postseason.

Outside of the Kraken’s top line, Seattle struggled to outshoot and out chance their opponents. The Eeli Tolvanen, Yanni Gourde and Oliver Bjorkstrand line were outshot eight to two at even strength, while the line of Jaden Schwartz, Alex Wennberg and Morgan Geekie only managed one shot on net compared to six against. This has the potential of being a long series as long as the Kraken can put this game in their rearview mirror and play like they did in Game 1.

All Square Heading Into Game 3

In the end, the Kraken did exactly what they needed to do on the road picking up the split. They will now get a two-day break for the first time this postseason and will be looking to make a statement in front of the hometown crowd. The pivotal Game 3 is set for May 7, 2023, with Seattle looking to once again take the lead in the series.

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Analytics Provided by Natural Stat Trick.