It was a back-and-forth affair in Dallas on Tuesday night, as the Seattle Kraken defeated the Dallas Stars 5-4 in an overtime thriller. The win puts the Kraken up 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, which mirrors the start of their first-round series.
There was plenty to talk about in this game, and despite the stress that comes with an overtime game, it was very fun to watch as a hockey fan. Now that the action has died down and the dust is settling, let’s take a look at a few things that stood out in a very exciting matchup.
3. First-Period Explosion
Despite giving up the first goal of the game for the first time since the playoffs started, that didn’t stop the Kraken from exploding with four goals on 11 shots in the first period. It was a terrific display of resilience, as they didn’t allow the opening pressure from the Stars to wear them down.
Instead, after going down 2-1, the Kraken countered with two goals from Justin Schultz and Oliver Bjorkstrand in 11 seconds to tie and take the lead. They went on to add another shortly after, but the quick goal outburst was thought-provoking. Thanks to a suggestion from my fellow THW writer, Adam Kierszenblat, I tried to ponder what else can be done in 11 seconds. My other THW colleague Sean Raggio had 19 seconds to work with after an offensive burst in Game 3 of the Kraken’s first-round series, so this might be a bit more challenging. Let’s give this a go:
- A shoe can be tied (two if you’re fast.)
- Miss Olympic qualifying for the 100M sprint by just under a second.
- Send a brief but thoughtful message to a colleague.
- Add The Hockey Writers to your bookmarks for easy access.
- Time is a construct and may not even be linear, so I’ll let you ponder that for the rest of this article.
Related: Kraken vs Stars – Everything You Need to Know
Enough about the endless cycle of time, and back to the terrific first period from the Kraken. They got to Jake Oettinger, who is widely regarded as one of the best goalies remaining in the postseason. By doing so, it provides the Kraken with a boost of energy while shaking the confidence of the opponent early.
2. The Pavelski Show
Despite their efforts to shut down the Stars, the Kraken were unable to lock down Joe Pavelski in his first game since getting injured in Game 1 of the Stars’ first-round series against the Minnesota Wild. He scored four goals and single-handedly pulled the Stars back into the game.
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Trailing 4-2 in the third period, Pavelski completed his natural hat trick and added his fourth to tie the game with less than seven minutes remaining, sending the game to overtime. With his performance, Pavelski becomes the oldest player in NHL history to record a four-goal game.
While it would have been good that his historic performance didn’t come in such a big moment, it’s hard not to be in awe of what Pavelski did in Game 1. He was placed in concussion protocol after a massive hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba and was a surprise to many when he was announced as a member of the lineup for Game 1 against the Kraken. He’s made the most of his return, and the Kraken would be wise to find a way to keep him away from the front of the net moving forward to prevent any other offensive explosions.
1. Overtime Heroics
After a terrific series against the Colorado Avalanche, it felt fitting that Yanni Gourde was the one to step up in a massive spot for the Kraken. In a game that occasionally faded into chaos, Gourde taking advantage of a loose puck off a rebound seemed like the perfect ending to such a back-and-forth battle. It seemed like a harmless puck, but somehow, he placed it perfectly over the shoulder of Oettinger.
The game was fairly indicative of how these two teams seem to play each other. Going back to their last meeting of the regular season, this now makes two consecutive 5-4 overtime wins for the Kraken. That said, this one had that extra jump given the stakes at hand.
If that’s the tone for the series, buckle up. This could be some of the most chaotic yet entertaining hockey we may ever witness, but for now, we can focus on the fact that the Kraken have come out on top in Game 1.
The Kraken are back in action for Game 2 on Thursday, May 4 at 6:30 PM PT. They’ll look to take a stranglehold on the series as they have a chance to return home with a 2-0 series lead.