When the second period began on Wednesday night in Dallas, it delivered an assortment of promising details: an early goal, controlled play, a big save, and a close game where anything could affect the tiniest of margins.
But that first period was a different story – and ultimately became a difference maker.
The Dallas Stars, using a career high five points from veteran Joe Pavelski, built a 3-1 lead in the opening 20 minutes en route to defeating the Seattle Kraken, 5-2 at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night.
The Kraken, slipping to 0-6-1 in seven games, will try next to grab their first win since December tomorrow night against the St. Louis Blues to finish three games in four days.
“It’s tough to come back from behind in this league,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “Our second and third periods, effort wise were really good.”
“I have no issue with our compete in the second and third periods. But we didn’t match them in the first.”
Roope Hintz’s deflection put Dallas up 1-0 just 50 seconds into the game, matched by a gorgeous three-way passing sequence, finished by Calle Jarnkrok in the slot for a power play goal and 1-1 tie at 8:25 of the first period.
But back to back goals, 2:01 apart, put the Kraken in a 3-1 hole when Joe Pavelski’s tip with nine minutes left was followed by Jason Robertson’s 13thgoal, scored on a two-man advantage.
“It’s something we’ve talked a lot about, taking the positives away from things,” said Jared McCann. “But enough is enough here.”
“We have moments where we take control of the game and I feel like if we can replicate that – don’t go out every shift and try to score. We’ve got to play defense first and that’s something that we have to figure out as a team.”
McCann extended his run to five points in five games and got his sixth multi point game with another gorgeous set up by Jordan Eberle, floating a saucer pass over Jake Oettinger’s stick for McCann’s one-timer at the right circle at 5:38 of the second period.
The Kraken, playing penalty free the rest of the night, also got a big save by Philipp Grubauer on Jacob Peterson with less than eight minutes left. But a turnover late in the second period left Pavelski open, unchecked at the net, for a backdoor tap-in and 4-2 lead with 1:23 left in the period.
Jani Hakanpaa sealed the game with an empty netter, with 1:42 remaining after Oettinger got through his biggest test, 14 saves on the Kraken in the third period.
“There has to be a short memory there,” said Hakstol. “Clear the deck, come out and compete hard in tomorrow night’s hockey game. Like life – you’ve got to meet it head on."