Kraken flip the script on Stars, use sustained hot start to force game seven 

Period 1

Seattle, WA – Time and time again in their second season in franchise history, the Seattle Kraken have defied the odds and neglected the naysayers that told them that they could not reach new heights. Today’s game six in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was no different, as the Kraken powered their way past the Stars for a 6-3 victory to send this series to a game seven. Seattle was able to find the sort of pace and pressure that they needed to begin the game hot, just as Dallas had in the last two contests, and brought the attack to the Stars. Seattle forces a game seven in Dallas, on Monday the 15th

In games four and five, the Stars have been the ones who came out on fire looking to stun the Kraken, just as Seattle had done in every game of their round one matchup against the Avalanche. Dallas had put together their top line of Robertson-Hintz-Pavelski, and Seattle didn’t have an answer for it as the Stars took the past two games in commanding fashion. If they were going to keep this series going and ensure that they didn’t head out into the offseason just yet, the Kraken needed to flip the script and get out on the front foot before the Stars, especially in their home building. Still a somewhat young team in terms of their players ages and the franchise itself, Seattle looked to their leadership to get things going.  

Alternate captain, and fan favorite to become the team’s captain, Yanni Gourde was the one who got the party started for the Kraken with a persistent goal around the nine-minute mark into the first frame. Taking advantage of a turnover by Dallas, Seattle brought the puck up ice as Eeli Tolvanen found Gourde out on the wing, jamming the puck against Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger’s pads. Gourde found his own rebound over the right pad of Oettinger, who had just gotten out of his butterfly stance, to get things going and gave the fans a mean mug in celebration. A two-time cup winner himself, Gourde knows what it takes to win these elimination games and was able to ignite the Kraken attack. 

“I think our transition was faster a little bit, and then I think we get to the net a little bit quicker, fight through the box out, try to get there, and yeah, I think that was the main key of our games tonight,” Yanni Gourde, Seattle Kraken forward and alternate captain, on the priorities of tonight’s game. 

Just around 30 seconds later, the Stars were able to find an answer on an odd-man rush, catching the Kraken in a bit of a change that left Mason Marchment open with an easy goal. Weathering Dallas’ responses was going to be a key aspect to this game, as if Seattle was unable to do so, they could quickly be overwhelmed and as a result be packing up for the offseason. The Kraken remained calm, drawing a power play late into the first, and finally busting through on the main advantage as alternate captain Jordan Eberle took a rebound and weaved around a sprawled-out Oettinger to score and regain the Seattle lead. That sort of response and ability to weather the pushback of the Stars, was a huge factor in why the Kraken were able to win tonight and force a game seven.  

“I feel like that’s part of the playoffs. I feel like we did that in last couple of games when they scored and I feel like we had a pushback, so we knew that they’re going to have pushbacks and they’re going to have their chances. But I think we play pretty well and we played cool, so it’s just a credit for the team that we can weather those and just move on,” Eeli Tolvanen, Seattle Kraken forward, on the team weathering Dallas’ pushbacks.   

The Kraken will now head back to Dallas to play the win and advance game seven that will decide who will head to the Conference finals to battle Edmonton or Las Vegas. Game seven between Seattle and Dallas will take place on Monday, May 15th with a puck drop of 5PM PST and will be broadcast on ESPN. The Kraken will once again need this sort of hot start and sustained pace to get the right outcome when they battle the Stars in Dallas, knowing that their opponent will surely look to come out with a fight of their own.