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Dallas Stars Take On Seattle Kraken In The Second Round

After what was one of the best first rounds to watch, the second round is about to begin. There have been a few upsets, but that is what the playoffs are all about. One great matchup to watch in the second round is the Stars vs Kraken.

Stars vs Kraken Series Preview

Who Can Win The Special Teams Battle?

One key factor in the Stars vs Kraken series is special teams’ play. The key will be the Kraken penalty kill against the scorching hot Stars’ power play. Seattle may want to learn a lesson from that series. The Minnesota Wild was an undisciplined team that could not stay out of the box. And the Stars made them pay because of it. At the conclusion of the first round, the Stars scored nine power-play goals and finished with a 37.5% success rate (4th). Tyler Seguin led the way with four goals and Roope Hintz with seven points. Dallas has done a good job generating their chances from down low. While generating 20 chances, 13 got on net. Their personnel is dangerous and the weapons come from everywhere.

However, Seattle is no slouch to killing penalties. They finished the first round with an 88.9% success rate (2nd). What counters the Stars attack, is their ability to limit the high-danger chances. Seattle has been good with that all season long and continued that play in the first round. They have allowed only 11 chances from the area and seven on net. Dallas scored four goals from the area, whereas Seattle allowed just one.

It will be a battle in this regard. Seattle does enter the series with the 14th-ranked power play unit. In addition, Dallas has the fourth-best penalty kill. Special team’s may not determine the series, but will be a key factor.

Play Between The Pipes

The next big thing entering the Stars vs Kraken series is the goaltending. Both starting goalies played great for their respective teams and a big reason why they are in this spot.

Jake Oettinger

Oettinger lit the hockey world on fire last post-season. He proved that was no fluke which also earned him a contract. Oettinger was the first goalie this playoff to secure a shutout victory. In addition, he came up large once again stoning Marcus Johansson to get his team the win as well. But aside from important accolades, his level of play has been excellent. He currently has a 2.01 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. In addition, he ranks second behind Igor Shesterkin in goals saved above expected (4.3). Not only does Dallas have a well-balanced lineup, they have a goalie they can count on between the pipes.

Phillip Grubauer

Remember a season ago where Grubauer was one of the worst goalies in hockey? What fun that was. Turn the page and he has been a new goalie in the crease. Winning a playoff series is never easy, but defeating the reigning Champions is a statement.

Grubauer was locked in for their first-round series. He gave the team a chance to win every single night and was a large reason why Seattle took Game 7. Just like Oettinger, he is playing good hockey this postseason. He owns a .789 high-danger save percentage (7th) which is huge. In addition, he has a 2.26 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Grubauer ranks 4th in GSAX with 2.9. It has been a great turnaround for him. And for a second-year franchise, this is great to see as well.

These teams will cause havoc against one another and a key will be the play between the pipes.

Depth Will Be Important

The biggest key in the Stars vs Kraken series will be the depth scoring. For both teams that played a huge role in their first-round victories. Seattle does not have the same fire power that the Stars do. But what they do have is players that work hard and contributions come everywhere. In fact, they had 15 different goal scorers against Colorado. The club is currently without Jared McCann and Andre Burakovsky but got contributions from everyone else. It’s a true test to their success and heroes come from all places.

Dallas has the dynamo top line and Joe Pavelski should be able to return. The top line did a large portion of their damage against Minnesota. Tyler Seguin is playing rejuvenated-inspired hockey and Jamie Benn is leading by example. However, depth came through towards the end. Mason Marchment got going and rookie Wyatt Johnston got his first career goal. No doubt Seattle will key on the top line and Dallas will need Seattle-like production out of its depth. It will be something to monitor as the series plays along.


Much like each of these teams’ first-round series, it will be a close one. Given all factors that will go into it, the team that wins the special teams battle and goaltending will prevail. This series has the makings of going the distance.

Prediction: Stars defeat Kraken in 6

Main Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


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