The Seattle Kraken dropped the second half of a two-game set to the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Monday night at Climate Pledge Arena. Each team tallied two even-strength goals, but special teams was the difference: Dallas went three-for-four on the power play, while Seattle came up empty in two attempts.
This reversed a recent successful trend from Seattle’s penalty kill. As reported by Fox 13’s Curtis Crabtree earlier Monday, in 24 games since Jan. 15, the Kraken had killed 89.8 percent of power plays, the second best mark in the league in that stretch. Seattle did not find the same success Monday night, and it cost them any chance at competing with the Central Division-leading Stars.
Penalty Kill. Kraken coach Dave Hakstol told reporters after the game that the team’s failure on the penalty kill was multi-faceted. The penalty kill got caught puck chasing in its first opportunity in the first period, ultimately leaving Jamie Benn and Jason Robertson unchecked to coordinate on a goal. In the second period, Joe Pavelski sent a high slot tip past Martin Jones—one the goalie probably would like back. And then in the third period, Robertson’s long-distance shot deflected off Jamie Oleksiak’s stick to beat Jones from distance.
Odd-Man Rushes. Alex Wennberg admitted after the game that he felt like Seattle was chasing the play most of the night. This manifested in frequent breakaway and odd-man rush chances for the Dallas Stars. The Kraken need to clean up their neutral-zone coverage if they want to flip the script on the Stars when the team visits Dallas next week.
Martin Jones. Jones’s recent skid continued. Though he was victimized by a few late tips, he gave up several goals from the perimeter in this one. Money Puck tallied Dallas’s total shot quality at 3.72 xGoals. Natural Stack trick registered just 2.26 xGoals for the Stars. The Kraken desperately need Jones to rediscover his early season form.
Third period offense. The life went out of the Kraken after Robertson’s goal early in the third period. Jared McCann fanned on a prime opportunity at the weak side of the Dallas goal with just over 12:00 minutes remaining, but otherwise the team did very little. The Kraken had just three shots and none were particularly threatening. It was a disappointing end to the night and one the team will need to shake off if it is going to get back on the winning track in San Jose on Thursday.
Yanni Gourde. Gourde was a pest in front of the net, particularly in the first two periods tonight. He was credited with a goal in the first period when he dove to the front of the Dallas goal for a loose puck. Then, in the second period, he took away space from Jake Oettinger when he parked himself in the crease in front of an Eeli Tolvanen tip in. And he was equally tenacious in his own end: He wasn’t on the ice for any of Dallas’s five goals.
Vince Dunn. Dunn tallied two assists and extended his active point streak to ten games. He leads the Seattle Kraken with 55 points and is producing like a franchise defenseman right now.
Seattle Pride Night. The Seattle Kraken collaborated with local artist Simson Chantha on Pride Night warmup jerseys in this one. This continued the team’s commitment to partnering with diverse artists in the Seattle community for the team’s Hockey is for Everyone games. The team represented its community well.
You can’t miss opportunities in this league. The Seattle Kraken held a lead over the Stars in the first game of this series Saturday night with just over a minute remaining in the game. Two points were in their grasp. But the defense was unable to clear the zone and conceded a chaotic sequence in front of Philipp Grubauer that culminated in a Joe Pavelski goal. The Kraken then went on to lose in overtime despite the fact that the team from the Pacific Northwest controlled the five-on-five play for long stretches and had the puck for the majority of the overtime period.
It’s tough to give away a game like that, but particularly so when you turn around and play that same division-leading team for a second straight game. You had to expect that the Stars would bring a better effort in the second game, and, unfortunately from Seattle’s perspective, that is precisely what happened. The Kraken leave the home stand with just three points in four games and now face a crucial contest in San Jose to stem the tide.