3 Takeaways From Kraken’s 6-3 Game 4 Loss to Stars

The series now shifts back to Texas tied 2-2, as the Dallas Stars defeated the Seattle Kraken 6-3 in Game 4. It was a game that favored the Stars for the first two periods, with the Kraken returning to form late in the game. It was too late for the Kraken to make a stunning comeback, but there were certainly things to work on moving forward.

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With the series now a best-of-three, these next games become even more important with the series knotted up heading to Game 5. Here are three takeaways from Game 4.

3. Poor First Sets Tone

After such an exciting Game 3, the Kraken came out flat in the first period of Game 4. The Stars seemed to have a bit of an extra jump, while the Kraken seemed to be a little jumpy. There were a few very noticeable giveaways that seemed to become a trend early, and that’s something the Kraken have to correct.

The Stars outshot the Kraken 11-5 in the first and out-attempted them 22-16. Luckily, Philipp Grubauer was strong in the opening frame to keep it close, but the Kraken still went into the first intermission trailing 1-0. That being said, this first period seemingly set the tone for the remainder of the game.

Philipp Grubauer Seattle Kraken
Philipp Grubauer, Seattle Kraken (Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Oddly enough, the second-period shots were identical to the first. The only difference, however, was that the Stars began to convert. Despite only trailing by one goal after the first, the Kraken found themselves down 5-1 through 40 minutes and Grubauer was pulled in favor of Martin Jones. They did turn up the heat a bit in the third period, narrowing the score to 5-3 at one point, but the first two periods were just too difficult to overcome.

Related: Kraken vs Stars – Everything You Need to Know

That being said, their third period should be something to build on moving forward. Sometimes, the best thing a team can do is find the good in a game where they didn’t look like themselves. The first two periods of Game 4 seemed to reveal an entirely different Kraken team, but they reappeared in the third. If they can tap into that third-period energy, their chances look good in Game 5.

2. Schwartz Stays Hot

With his two-goal performance in Game 4, Jaden Schwartz now sits at three goals in the second round, with his playoff total now sitting at five. That also marked his second multi-goal game of the playoffs, as he continues to be a valuable playoff performer.

Jaden Schwartz Seattle Kraken
Jaden Schwartz, Seattle Kraken (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He led the team in Game 4 in expected goals created, with 0.477, which validates the fact that he was getting into the dirty areas. His two goals came from high-danger areas, and the Kraken will need to find a way to slide into those soft spaces if they’re to find further success on Jake Oettinger.

Schwartz is one of those players who consistently has a presence, and is often someone who steps up when the team faces adversity. Now, heading back to Dallas with the series tied, Schwartz could be a key figure in shaping the remaining games.

1. Kraken Need to Be Road Warriors

The Kraken are 4-2 in road games so far in the playoffs, and they have a chance to use the lack of home-ice advantage as a way to take another series lead. For the Kraken, and the NHL in general, the idea of “home-ice advantage” has seemingly lost its luster. The road teams seem to be sucking the life out of buildings more and more, and who’s to say the Kraken can’t do that in Game 5?

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They have a chance to come back to Seattle with a series lead and close it out in front of their home fans, something they failed to do in the first round. Just imagine the scene inside Climate Pledge Arena if that happens. With the potential momentum from a strong third, they would be well-positioned to take Game 5 if they can get off to a quick start. If all goes well, maybe this might be their last trip to the Lonestar State in the series.

Game Notes

Larsson Joins the Scoring Committee

Adam Larsson became the 17th player to score a goal for the Kraken in the playoffs, which is yet another testament to the depth this team has. Despite losing Daniel Sprong, the team is still deeper than most, and with a whopping 17 goal-scorers, they can still apply the pressure with their offense.

Jared McCann Makes His Return

Jared McCann made his return to the Kraken lineup in Game 4 for the first time since April 24. His return came after a lengthy absence caused by a Cale Makar late hit that subsequently knocked McCann out for seven games. He had three shots on goal in just over 13 minutes of ice time. The Kraken will be hoping that he can find his form again as they look to close out the series.

The Kraken and Stars are back at it in Game 5 in Dallas on Thursday, May 11 at 6:30 PM PT as they look to take back the series advantage. Expect another hotly contested matchup as both teams don’t want to go down in their best-of-seven series.