TAKEAWAYS: Kraken fall to Stars in game four (AUDIO)

Dallas Stars v Seattle Kraken - Game Four

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MAY 09: Philipp Grubauer #31 of the Seattle Kraken makes a save against Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars during the first period in Game Four of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Climate Pledge Arena on May 09, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Max Domi scored twice and added an assist, while the Dallas Stars scored four times in the second period to earn a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken in game four of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, before 17,151 fans at Climate Pledge Arena on Tuesday. 

The series is now effectively a best-of-three scenario, tied at 2-2 and heading to Dallas for game five, Thursday at 6:30pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network). Game six will come to Seattle on Saturday, 4pm PT. 

Dallas scored the first four goals of the game on a night where the Kraken took a while to generate offense, outshot 25-19 for the game while Jake Oettinger made 16 saves. Philipp Grubauer, who endured a tough night with 17 stops, was pulled for Martin Jones after the second period. 

Jaden Schwartz scored twice while Adam Larsson launched a blast past Jake Oettinger for his first goal of the playoffs, with 4:11 left in the game. The Kraken pushed their rally to an extra attacker situation, but Domi scored his second goal of the game on an empty netter to wrap it up with 2:21 left. 

Miro Heiskanen, knocked out of game three after taking a puck to the face, logged an assist with a game-high 31:02 of ice time while wearing a full face shield. 


1.     What is goaltender interference? Much like a “catch” in football or the strike zone in baseball, the rule is very subjective with several categories in the NHL rule book, rule 69, that diagram scenarios for appropriate judgement. Max Domi wired a shot from the left circle, under the bar on Grubauer, while visibly working to establish ground against Jamie Benn. 

The Kraken had several underlying issues with puck possession that affected Tuesday night’s result, but this was the pivotal moment that affected the game. The Kraken thought they had a case for goaltender interference. It took approximately three minutes for officials to wring their hands over video, and then sent the sellout crowd into a furious tizzy with the goal upheld. No details were available from the league’s online situation room.

"I have no idea what the hell goalie interference is anymore,” said Kraken forward Jared McCann. "I really don't." 

"I don't think anybody does in this league."

Conventional wisdom suggests video evidence must be conclusive to overturn an original call. Grubauer, attempting to square up after contact from Benn with his skates outside the crease, was exposed to the glove side on Domi’s shot. Grubauer then took secondary contact with Benn, who was previously shoved by Carson Soucy.

“I challenged it because I felt like it was goaltender interference,” said head coach Dave Hakstol, who said he was never offered an explanation from the on-ice officials. 

“I felt like (Grubauer) got blown out of the crease and regardless of the amount of the time in between to be able to reset was impossible. He got blown too far out of the crease on that play.” 

2.     The second period has been a theme of this series. On Tuesday night, the Kraken were outshot by Dallas, 22-10 through the first two periods. 

“Not good enough,” said Hakstol. 

It set a similar tone for the 20-minute frame that’s decided all but one game, where the Kraken won 5-4 in overtime after knocking back Dallas in the first period. 

But in game two, Dallas scored three times in the second period and never looked back. 

In game three, the Kraken scored five times in the second period and never looked back. 

In game four, Dallas scored three times in the second period and never looked back. 

That frame is become a clear-cut pattern of dictating advantage, not to mention, a telling sign of needs for the Kraken to sustain a five-on-five game. The Kraken took four penalties, also counting the delay of game that’s automatically attached to a denied coach’s challenge. Penalty kill time affected the time needed to sustain any kind of comeback, while Dallas capitalized with two power play goals in the game. However, the Kraken earned three goals afterward and gave a sellout crowd a sliver of hope in the third period, though in a game they were chasing the entire evening. 

3.     The Kraken need a healthy Jared McCann in a best-of-three. They’ve got Jaden Schwartz, who Hakstol said “raised his level” even in a second period that got off the tracks. But in puzzling fashion, a newfound 40 goals in McCann’s resume are still waiting to have “scored a playoff goal” added for a new bullet point. 

On Tuesday night, he needed time – following his return from the late hit by Colorado’s Cale Makar in the first round. 

“I felt really good,” said McCann. “I missed the guys; just wish I could have come back on better circumstances.” 

McCann returned to the lineup and played sparingly, with 13:11 of ice time before he was elevated back to his usual spot on the left wing, with linemates Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle in the third period. 

“It’s tough jumping in after two weeks of the pace of the game tonight,” said Hakstol. 

“I thought he worked his way into this game. His pace and his confidence got better and better throughout the game.” 

The scoring chances were few and far between as a result for McCann, though earning a day off before game five on Thursday which will be interesting to examine if he is permanently elevated back to his top line role, where he scored glutton of his 40 goals this season alongside Beniers and Eberle. 

The Kraken will need that kind of production to cancel out Joe Pavelski’s six goals, Roope Hintz and Jamie Benn’s first which indicated a possible awakening, all in a best-of-seven set that often rewards the team whose stars outplay the opposition’s stars. 




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