The Seattle Kraken rode a six-game losing streak into Texas to face the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. The Stars were coming off a tightly fought 2–1 game against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday and were looking to get back in the win column.
Fans were not even in their seats before Stars forward Roope Hintz (allegedly) gave them a 1–0 just 50 seconds after the opening faceoff. It looked like Jason Robertson banked the puck off Mark Giordano’s skate and past goaltender Philipp Grubauer, but the goal was given to Hintz. Regardless, the top line of Hintz, Robertson and Joe Pavelski continued to play very well for Dallas and figured heavily in the outcome of this game.
Seattle tied the game eight minutes later when Calle Jarnkrok took a quick pass from Marcus Johansson and one-timed it past goaltender Jake Oettinger on the power play for his third goal and fifth point in his last four games. Despite the Kraken’s losing streak, Jarnkrok and the power play have had success as of late.
The tie game lasted only a few minutes as the Hintz-Pavelski-Robertson line struck twice in two minutes to give the Stars a 3–1 lead heading into the first intermission. It turned out that goals by Pavelski at 11:00 and Robertson at 13:01 (on the power play) were all the Stars needed to come away with the win, but there were still two periods left to play.
The Kraken managed only five shots on goal in the first period to the Stars’ 10 shots.
The second period was much more tightly fought, as the shots were 8–6 in favor of Dallas, and each team added a goal. Seattle center Jared McCann cut the Dallas lead in half five minutes into the second frame, but Pavelski struck again with under two minutes remaining in the period to give the Stars back their two-goal lead.
As has been the case quite a few times this season, the Kraken came out in the third period and peppered Oettinger with 14 shots, but it was too little, too late. The Dallas netminder stopped all 14 shots, and Jani Hakanpaa scored an empty-net goal (his first of the season) with time waning to secure a 5–2 win for the home team.
As the final horn sounded, the Kraken had their seventh straight loss dating back to mid-December with the St. Louis Blues, winners of two in a row and seven of their last 10, on the agenda. If the Kraken cannot find a way to start gathering points real soon, their season may be essentially over before the all star break.
⚓ I cannot really fault Grubauer on most of the Dallas goals. The first one was off his own defenseman, the second was a bad bounce off the end boards, the third was terrible coverage in front, the fourth was a wide-open guy on the back door and (of course) the empty-netter. This is one of those games where only 20 saves on 24 shots looks bad, but the Kraken defense offered no help for their goaltender.
⚓ Jarnkrok will definitely get lost in this box score, but he has been as hot as any Kraken player and McCann is right there with him, putting up six points in his last four games. It is no coincidence that the Kraken have looked so bad since losing Brandon Tanev to injury, though.
He was the heart of this team and they have looked mentally checked out since losing him.
⚓ William Borgen and Carson Soucy were the whipping boys of the night, giving up 10 chances as a pair. Luckily, they failed to give up any goals, which could have made this one really ugly.
⚓ If you break it down by the numbers, the Kraken outplayed Dallas. All possession metrics favored Seattle and their forward lines were all over 52% in total shots. I hate to beat a dead horse, but this loss falls squarely on defensive coverage problems.
🔱 5-on-5 Corsi (total shot attempts) 55%–45%
🔱 5-on-5 Fenwick (Unblocked shot attempts) 55%–47%
🔱 5-on-5 High-danger chances for 53%–47%
🔱 5-on-5 Expected goals for 54%–46%
🔱 Face-off percentage 52%–48%
⚓ The Kraken are right back in action tonight against the St. Louis Blues, in St. Louis. The puck drop is scheduled for 5 p.m. PST.