The Seattle Kraken didn’t make the playoffs in their expansion season, but they’re getting a feel of what they might face this spring thanks to the Dallas Stars.
The teams will meet for the second straight time Monday night in Seattle, after the Stars rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday.
Throw in a game March 21 at Dallas and the Western Conference rivals will meet three times in 11 days — almost like a mini playoff series.
“We play them in two days again,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said after Saturday’s game. “There’s some little areas of the game that we’ll look at. It was a real competitive hockey game all the way through.”
Miro Heiskanen scored with 1:34 remaining in overtime to give the Stars the victory in the series opener, after teammate Joe Pavelski tallied with 70 seconds left in regulation to tie the score with goaltender Jake Oettinger on the bench for an extra attacker.
Central Division-leading Dallas is 6-1-1 in its past eight games, while Seattle, which sits third in the Pacific, is 5-1-1 over its past seven.
“It’s huge,” said Oettinger, who made 28 saves. “I mean, all these games late in the season feel like playoff games and this is an unreal arena and the atmosphere is great. So, it felt like a playoff game and just happy that we could come out with a win.”
Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist and Mason Marchment also scored for Dallas.
“That was unbelievable,” Marchment said. “Just shows the resiliency of our group and I don’t think there was a doubt that we weren’t gonna come back and win that one. I think we played a great game, (a) great road game, and that was a huge one.”
The Stars are 2-0-0 on their six-game trip, which opened with a 10-4 victory Thursday at Buffalo.
“It’s kind of weird (to play Seattle again Monday) I’ve never had anything like this,” Marchment said. “So, it’s kind of interesting. But, again, it’s pretty fun. It’s nice to not have to travel (Saturday night) so that’s huge.”
Jordan Eberle, Ryan Donato and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for Seattle and goalie Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves.
The Kraken twice rallied from one-goal deficits before Bjorkstrand gave them their first lead on a power play with 3:25 left in regulation, setting up the wild finish.
The Kraken had won their previous seven overtime games.
“It’s a competitive game out there. I thought we did a pretty good job for the most part,” said Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn, who had two assists to equal his own franchise-record point streak at nine games, during which he has three goals and 10 assists.
“A really disappointing result again, when we’re up close to the end there. So, we’ll learn from it, we’ll look at it and we’ll find a way to break them down. We have them again very soon so just forget it, that’s an important point that we got.”
–Field Level Media