Eberle scores 2 as Kraken defeats Stars 6-3, sending series to Game 7 decision
SEATTLE – For their first campaign in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Seattle Kraken are giving their fans an exciting, yet stressful experience.
Two playoff series. And now, a second Game 7.
“That’s all you could ask for. Those games are what make playoff hockey fun,” Seattle’s Jordan Eberle said.
Eberle scored twice, Eeli Tolvanen had a goal and two assists, and the Kraken beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 on Saturday night to force a Game 7 in their semifinal series at Co- speak the West.
Tolvanen’s goal in the opening minutes of the second period gave Seattle a 3-1 lead. Rookie Tye Kartye scored his third of the playoffs beating Jake Oettinger with a skinny shot less than three minutes later, and the Kraken withstood several shots by the Stars to clinch the streak back to Texas.
“We were ready tonight. I feel like the last couple games maybe the team was ready first,” Tolvanen said. “That was the big key today. All four lines were ready to play.”
Matty Beniers and Yanni Gourde each had a goal and an assist for Seattle, which is headed to its second Game 7 in its short playoff history after defeating defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado with a 2-1 win in the co- closing of the opening round. The Kraken are the sixth team in league history to go to a Game 7 in each of the franchise’s first two playoff series.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 20 shots for the win.
“We had a goal in mind. We wanted to make sure we were still one of the six teams alive when we woke up tomorrow morning and had a chance to go play Game 7,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “We know the test. We know the challenge. It will be very big, but we will be ready.”
Mason Marchment, Joe Pavelski and Joel Kiviranta scored for Dallas. Oettinger gave up four goals on 18 shots before being pulled 4 1/2 minutes into the second period. Scott Wedgewood came on and stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced.
There will be a game 7 on Monday night in Dallas.
“I mean, their lives were on the line. They played desperate hockey and played a good game,” Dallas captain Jamie Benn said.
The Stars played their final Game 7 in the second round of the 2020 playoffs in the NHL bubble in Edmonton as Dallas defeated Colorado 5-4 in overtime. This is the first Game 7 in Dallas since the second round in 2016, when the Stars lost 6-1 to St. Louis after giving up three first period goals.
Pavelski scored his 72nd career playoff goal and eighth of the series when he redirected Miro Heiskanen’s shot from the point on the second period power play. Pavelski is tied with Alex Ovechkin for the most goals among active players.
And he could have more. Pavelski nearly added a second goal in the opening seconds of the third period, but his shot hit the post and Heiskanen’s rebound attempt slipped across the goalmouth. Moments later, Jason Robertson’s shot from the slot hit the same post and deflected off danger.
Seattle appeared to seal the win when Beniers finished off a 2-on-1 pass from Eberle for his third playoff goal at 8:43 of the third period after a key penalty kill by the Kraken. But 16 seconds later Kiviranta tipped Thomas Harley’s shot from the point past Grubauer to pull the Stars back to 5-3.
It created an uninteresting final few minutes for Seattle until Eberle’s empty netter with 58 seconds left.
“We had nothing to lose, obviously back against the wall,” Eberle said. “So we’re going to give the same effort in Game 7.”
Grubauer was outstanding in goal for Seattle, especially in the second period when Dallas made a push. He had 11 saves in the period.
Oettinger was pulled after giving up Kartye’s goal and his 24 minutes, 23 seconds on ice was the shortest start of his career.
Gourde gave Seattle the start it needed, following up on his first shot and beating Oettinger at 8:59 of the first period. Marchment scored a goal 31 seconds later to pull the Stars even, but Eberle’s power play goal at 16:46 of the period restored Seattle’s advantage.
“When the other team is hungry like that in an elimination game and you’re on the road, you have to at least be the smarter team with the puck,” Dallas coach Pete said DeBoer. “I felt like we made more mistakes and sapped the energy in the first period.”
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