For the second consecutive game, the Seattle Kraken fell behind, took the lead in the third period, and then saw their opponents come back to post a victory. But last night’s 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars at Climate Pledge Arena, was also much different than their 6-5 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
While the Senators were fighting to stay alive for a playoff berth, the Stars (36-17-13) lead the Central Division of the Western Conference and are currently battling for top seed and home-ice advantage in the upcoming playoffs. But most important to the Kraken, last night’s game went into overtime, meaning Seattle (37-22-7) picks up one point in the standings against a tough Dallas team that scored ten goals in its previous game- a 10-4 win over Buffalo.
“They do a lot of good things, but I think we did too,” said Ryan Donato, who scored the go-ahead Kraken goal after being out of the lineup the previous two games.” I think we can hang with those guys and obviously, it’s not the way we want it to end. We had a chance and didn’t close it out. But we’re looking forward to the next game for sure.”
When last night’s busy Saturday wrapped up, the Kraken picked up one point on the Edmonton Oilers, 7-4 losers to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and stand alone in third place in the Pacific Division. The Vegas Golden Knights are alone in first place- three points ahead of the Kraken, and Los Angeles drops to second thanks to an overtime shootout loss to the Nashville Predators. Now, due to some quirky NHL scheduling, the Kraken and Stars meet again tomorrow night at Climate Pledge.
Miro Heiskanen netted the game winner with 1:34 left in overtime. Standing to the right of the net, Heiskanen fired home a one-timer off a pass from Max Domi, acquired by the Stars at the trade deadline. Heiskanen’s goal was the only shot of the overtime period. Heiskanen also picked up an assist on Joe Pavelski’s game tying marker that sent the game into overtime.
“They made a play to win it,” said Seattle coach Hakstol. “We had a couple of looks, we didn’t get inside on (Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger). We had a couple opportunities where we had some tired legs on the ice on their side. We had the one look from outside from Ebs [Jordan Eberle]. Maybe he could have taken it inside a little harder but he had a look from the outside. He’s pretty confident from that area.”
All three Kraken goals came from in close, what hockey people call `mucking it up’ in front of the net. Seattle had 15 shots on goal in the first period, Oettinger was a standout in the net. Roope Hintz gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 4:31 of the second period. off a pass from Jason Robertson, the Stars’ leading scorer. Esa Lindell fired a shot from the point and the rebound came back to Jason Robertson, the Stars’ leading scorer, who passed across to Hintz, who has 32 goals on the season.
The Kraken tied the game three minutes later when Vince Dunn’s drive from the point was redirected by Beniers. Linemate Jordan Eberle was also screening in front of the net. Dunn now has a point in nine consecutive games and a career-high 53 points on the season.
“I’m just focusing on getting shots past the (defender) who’s coming at me,” said Dunn, who has three goals and nine assists in his last nine games. “It seems like I had a lot of shots blocked against me last year.”
The Stars would take a 2-1 lead to the intermission when Mason Marchment tipped in defenseman Ryan Suter’s shot after Dallas’ Ty Dellandrea won a faceoff in the Kraken defensive zone.
Donato, replacing Morgan Geekie in the lineup, would tie the game at 10:03. Carson Soucy got the puck to Daniel Sprong, standing in front of the net. Oettinger made the initial save, but Donato was in position to tap home the rebound.
“That’s what we expect out of somebody coming back in the lineup,” said Hakstol of Donato’s goal. “You’re coming back in for a reason. He comes in to provide good solid play and in that case, he’s good in that area. We’ve seen Donnie in that area before. He’s very competitive down there.”
The Kraken would take a brief lead on a power play, they had six minutes of PP time in the third period. Alex Wennberg hit linemate Oliver Bjorkstrand cutting to the net at 16:35, the 300th career assist for Wennberg.
That lead would last a little over two minutes. The Stars pulled Oettinger for an extra attacker and the 38-year-old Pavelski scored the tying goal in s wild scramble in front of the net. Philipp Grubauer sprawled to make an initial save but seemed to have trouble getting back to his feet – it appeared the Kraken defensemen were in his way at one point of the melee.
Seattle had a territorial advantage in the overtime frame, but Heiskanen notched the game winner. Evgeny Davidov also assisted on the goal, winning a one-on-one battle with Seattle defenseman Justin Schultz at the top of the circle.
“This was a tough loss to swallow,” said Dunn. ”We needed the points. It was a back-and-forth game and that wasn’t good for us.”
- Matty Beniers continues to lead all rookies in scoring with his 20th goal of the season. Shane Pinto, who scored his 17th goal of the year for Ottawa on Thursday night, is second in scoring among first-year players, and Dallas rookie Wyatt Johnston, kept off the scoreboard last night, has 16 goals.
- Chris Driedger, who was sent down to the AHL Coachella Valley Firebirds after coming back from a knee injury, has a 2-1 with a .907 save percentage in three starts with Coachella Valley. The Firebirds continues to lead the entire 32-team AHL in winning percentage during its inaugural season with a 37-11-4 record.
- Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak played in his 500th career game. Oleksiak broke in with the Stars in the 2012-13 season. Vince Dunn has a nine-game point streak for the second time this season.
- Despite the perceived home advantage of the usually loud Climate Pledge Arena, the Kraken are only 16-13-4 on home ice, the worst record of any team currently in a playoff spot. The Kraken have killed 30 of the last 31 penalties called against them.
D- Roope Hintz (Jason Robertson, Esa Lindell) 4:31. S- Matty Beniers (Vince Dunn, Jared McCann) 7:41. D- Mason Marchment (Ryan Suter, Ty Dellandrea) 10:29.
S- Ryan Donato (Daniel Sprong, Carson Soucy) 10:03. S- Oliver Bjorkstrand (Alex Wennberg, Vince Dunn) PPG 16:35. D- Joe Pavelski (Hintz, Miro Heiskanen) 18:50.
D- Heiskanen (Max Domi, Evgeny Dadonov) 3:26.
Shots on Goal- Dallas 25, Seattle 31.
Penalty Minutes- Dallas 8, Seattle 2.
Referees- Steve Kozari, Mitch Dunning. Linesmen- Caleb Apperson, Joe Mahon.
Three Stars- 1. Miro Heiskanen, D. 2. Jake Oettinger, D. 3. Ryan Donato, S.