The Seattle Kraken fell to the Dallas Stars, 4-2 in game two of the Western Conference second round series before 18,532 at American Airlines Center on Thursday.
The series is tied 1-1, where the Kraken settled for a split and have two upcoming home games in the series at Climate Pledge Arena, continuing Sunday at 6:30pm PT in a playoff series that is still progressing through near uncharted territory for typical second-year NHL teams, out of expansion.
Tye Kartye and Jordan Eberle scored both Kraken goals, but Dallas blew a scoreless tie open with goals from Wyatt Johnston, Evgeni Dadonov and Joe Pavelski (again), while Tyler Seguin tacked on an early third period goal.
COMPLETE RADIO GAME HIGHLIGHTS
1. The second period took game two off the rails. This was the difference between a 2-0 series lead and a 1-1 tie, where the Kraken settled for the latter in a result of consolation. They still get two games on home ice, where they can utilize to turn the series into a pressure-cooked best-of-three as an underdog, or put the Stars up against the cliff. After a monotone first period, which played into the Kraken hands for a game on the road, Dallas exploded with three goals while the Kraken were saddled with penalty issues, preventing any momentum for five-on-five play which belied their trademark poise.
2. Wyatt Johnston was the best player on the ice. Was Johnston taking this game personally, the day after he was left off the finalists group for the Calder Trophy? He wouldn’t admit it, but let his head coach Peter DeBoer do the talking afterward:
“First off, I’m going to go on a little tangent,” DeBoer said to reporters after the game. “I can’t understand why he’s not nominated for the Calder. Twenty-four goals in the regular season and what he’s done.”
Johnston got hot after the month of March began, scoring 10 of his final 24 goals to eventually catch Matty Beniers – who will likely take home the hardware – in the rookie goal scoring race. The two finished tied, but Beniers topped Johnston in plus-minus (and all league rookies), power play goals, and game winning goals – not to mention the most eye-catching criteria – 57 points (Johnston had 41). Beniers, who routinely faced top tix, tough veteran minutes, has the inside track for his complete body of work. But Johnston played game two like a young man on a mission, part of depth that was absent from Dallas’ side in game one when they had to rely on Joe Pavelski’s four goals single-handedly dragging them into the game.
3. Tye Kartye looks like he wants to stay in the NHL full time. Aside from goaltending, depth is what got the Kraken here, into the second round. They have no Andre Burakovsky for awhile, no Jared McCann for the near future, and also no problem. Kartye has two goals in five postseason games and a game that looks as polished for the NHL as anybody else. His snap shot to get the Kraken on the board in the second period, a laser over Jake Oettinger’s blocker, was part of an all-around effort where he delivered five hits, and has 12 in the past two games. That’ll help a rookie stick in the playoff lineup. Who knows, the way this is trending, perhaps permanently.
KRAKEN LINEUP VS. DALLAS, GAME 2: