Joe Pavelski’s four goals in one Stanley Cup Playoff game became the stuff of legends and for the history books.
It was a mere footnote.
The Seattle Kraken, relying on a historic wave of three goals in 52 seconds, overwhelmed the Dallas Stars with four goals in the first period and enough for a 5-4 overtime victory in game one of the second round series, before 18,532 fans at American Airlines Center.
Yanni Gourde scored the first overtime winner of his playoff career, putting the Kraken at 2-0 in overtime for the playoffs, and five wins down in a gripping and nearly unprecedented run for the Stanley Cup.
"It's huge," said Gourde. "That's how you want to start a series. It's going to be a tough series. We know how good and strong they are."
Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said the Kraken relied on trademark poise with one common thread of leadership.
“The big thing for me was our group,” said Hakstol. “The older guys in our room were able to bring us back to level, and we got back to our game.”
COMPLETE RADIO GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Philipp Grubauer was good enough for the win with 31 saves while Jake Oettinger, pierced for five goals on 44 shots, took the loss.
1. The furious start set the table. It’s clear that if the Kraken want to beat the Dallas Stars, they’ve got a mission in mind, and it’s to get their skating legs going. The first period was a high-grade example of the difference the Stars faced from going to a rugged first round against Minnesota, to a high-speed chase in the pace the Kraken dictated. Working around Joe Pavelski’s first two goals, the Kraken got moving, and eventually scored three goals in 52 seconds – the sixth fastest three-goal onslaught in Stanley Cup Playoff history – by dictating pace and exposing holes on Jake Oettinger.
“Sometimes you get those,” said Hakstol.
“You go down and are able to push back right away; we’ve generated offense that way throughout the year. We were able to get inside, which you have to do on Oettinger, and that was a big part of the offense.”
Justin Schultz and Oliver Bjorkstrand both whipped a pair of goals in 11 seconds on Oettinger’s blocker side, exploiting busted coverage while the Kraken won a face-off battle to set up Vince Dunn’s point blast that deflected off Jordan Eberle. The Stars were chasing the rest of the night: advantage Kraken.
2. Joe Pavelski is ridiculous. At 38 years of age, Joe Pavelski has made his living in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and at the front of the net, but it was unforeseen the kind of master class he’d put on with his presence and first game back out of concussion protocol. He single-handedly dragged the Stars into this game. He gave the Stars their only two leads of the game on a clean look wrist shot that beat Grubauer just 2:25 into the game and on a trademark deflection at 12:18.
The third period was where he made his living, of course, by going to the net. A rebound opportunity on Grubauer earned a hat trick, and the finishing touches on a puck batted out of the air made him the oldest player in Stanley Cup Playoff history to score four goals in a game, delivering questions on handling Pavelski’s front-of-the-net presence for the rest of the series.
The Kraken survived and history was a mere footnote in game one.
3. Doing fine at five-on-five. Full strength hockey is where the Kraken have to live in order to have their best shot at upsetting the Stars to reach the Conference Final, and they avoided giving Dallas' potent power play significant time while delivering with five goals at five-on-five play. The Kraken only took two penalties, and nothing after the second period. The remarkable note is they’re still missing 40-goal scorer Jared McCann and Andre Burakovsky, yet again, relying on depth to still hang five on Oettinger and demonstrating the potency of a lineup devoid of a superstar but full of high-danger capability, any given shift.
Ten players hit the scoresheet with a goal or an assist, and every line had at least one point, which is an impressive feat for one game. That was the count just after one period on Tuesday night. Yanni Gourde put on the finishing touches (the appropriate line, right?) to send a message to Dallas, of the frustration they will create with no realistic “make or break” shutdown target.
KRAKEN LINEUP VS. DALLAS, GAME 1: