Late Stars rally thwarts one for the Kraken, 4-3 in OT (AUDIO)

Dallas Stars v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 11: Will Borgen #3, Philipp Grubauer #31 and Matty Beniers #10 of the Seattle Kraken watch the puck during the third period against the Dallas Stars at Climate Pledge Arena on March 11, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Foto: Getty Images

Miro Heiskanen ended a late Dallas Stars rally with the game winner on a saucer pass from Max Domi at 3:26, denying the Seattle Kraken from a remarkable rally of their own in a 4-3 Stars victory in overtime before 17,151 fans at Climate Pledge Arena. 

For the second straight night, the late goal came back to victimize the Kraken. Alex DeBrincat scored in the dying minutes of Thursday’s win for a late winner in regulation, while Joe Pavelski erased a 3-2 Kraken lead with a six-on-five goal with 1:10 left in regulation, and Jake Oettinger pulled. 

The Kraken, though settling for an overtime point, moved their lead for a playoff spot to 10 points with 16 games left. 


Roope Hintz and Mason Marchment scored for Dallas, while the Kraken, now 1-1-1 on the four game road trip, got their offense from goals by Jordan Eberle, Ryan Donato, and a late go-ahead goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand that put them in position to win, previously down 2-1 entering the third period. 

Oettinger made 28 saves in net for the win, while Philipp Grubauer, who had to turn away a rash of high danger chances in the first and third period, stopped 21 shots. 

1.     ANOTHER GAME, ANOTHER NIGHT FOR THE FIGHTIN’ KRAKEN. They can score in bunches. They can play in a 3-2 game. They can fight back from a 3-0 deficit. They can also fight back from a third period deficit. “They can” is a hallmark of a team, despite in just their second season, have displayed remarkable will. Saturday night’s case, demanding the fourth comeback win of the season while trailing after two periods, came against a Stars team that was polished with a defensive sophistication hinged on skating. They came into the game with the fifth stingiest offense, and a top ten team for fewest high danger chances allowed at five-on-five. 

Ryan Donato generated a tie game with offense the Kraken needed: battling at the front of the net. The power play then found the opening, a bumper slot goal by Oliver Bjorkstrand that was perfectly executed over Jake Oettinger, who was rolling for most of the night. A textbook “down but not out” win was in order. Until … 

2.     WHICH LEADS US TO, ANOTHER LESSON LEARNED IN FINISHING. The Stars pulled Oettinger for a six-on-five situation, and the Kraken were left scrambling. A glorified yard sale of sticks, bodies, and intestinal fortitude was laid in front of Philipp Grubauer, with the Stars managing the puck movement around Will Borgen, Jamie Oleksiak, Matty Beniers, Brandon Tanev, and Yanni Gourde. 

It didn’t help that Grubauer lost his stick, another potential useful weapon with clearing out puck danger at the front of the net while Oleksiak and Borgen desperately waded the crease behind Grubauer, looking to block any potential look at the net. The wild goose chase ended with Pavelski, as polished of a veteran in these situations as anybody in the NHL, parking a left circle wrister to tie the game. 

Still, matters could have changed the game’s narrative in overtime, where the Kraken held onto the puck for all but two Stars trips down ice. The Kraken had their chances, but failed execution opened the door to the highlight reel saucer pass that Max Domi laid onto the tape of Miro Heiskanen for the winner. But as the Kraken checked off the box of improved goaltending and special teams in the last few weeks, losses in regulation or overtime this week to Ottawa and Dallas leave the box to close out games still a wide open work-in-progress, a crucial ingredient to close out playoff victories. 

3.     IMAGINE THIS AS A SEVEN-GAME SERIES. Yowza. Pit two teams who play a similar style, are on a collision course for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and mathematically both still in contention for a division title, and this is what you get. For the first 24 minutes of the game, neither goaltender would blink. Philipp Grubauer and Jake Oettinger, who were both solid and can’t be fault on nearly any goal given up, looked like they commanded a game that was going to be a “first to two, wins” scenario. The Kraken answered Dallas’ opening punch with a Vince Dunn blast that got through a gnarly double screen. 

Dallas scored on similar fashion, and the chase was on. After Donato’s game, the teams traded chances in heartstopping fashion, until Oliver Bjorkstrand nearly blew the roof off Climate Pledge Arena – only to see Pavelski’s dramatic game-tying goal infuse another plot twist. Games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs aren’t decided at 3-on-3, but the cliffhanger that developed in this one suggested the Kraken have the ability to hang with another team that can make a deep run. They just need the finishing touch approach. Monday brings a rematch, with the playoffs in reach at a 10-point cushion with 16 games to go, and another chance to nail the plot. 




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