personel ESPNMay 13, 2023, 7:00 AM EST
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At the start of the 2022-2023 NHL season, many believed it wouldKraken z Seattlehe was better in the second year than in the first. Few could have predicted that they would last into the postseason. Even fewer predicted they would be near the Western Conference Finals.
To reach this level, they need to win two consecutive matchesDallas Starsthey have their own plans in mind - namely to bring the conference itself to the final. With a win in Seattle on Saturday night (7 ET, ESPN), the stars will do just that.
Before both teams take to the ice at the Climate Pledge Arena, we'll get you ready. We've put together a guide showing what to watch from each team, including Keys to Victory from Ryan S. Clark and detailed stats from ESPN Stats & Information.
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Dallas StarsAlreadyKraken z Seattle
19:00 I|Watch live on ESPN+
The line:DAL-155 |O/U:6
Clark's key to victory
Kraken needs to find consistency in the network
Goalkeeping was already an issue for the Kraken, and the events of the last two games have reignited that concernPhilip GrubauerHe has conceded nine goals in his last two appearances.
This contrasts with Grubauer's performance in the first round, where he was one of the main reasons the Kraken upset the defending Stanley Cup championsColorado-Avalanchein seven matches. He ended that streak with a 2.31 goal average and a .925 defense percentage.
Fast forward to what happened against the Stars. Grubauer had only one game in which he conceded less than two goals. For the series, Grubauer has a 4.21 GAA and 0.858 SV% over five games. And his teammates need to play better.
"You give them attacks with strange players, you give them this look - they're a good team, they have a lot of attacking players and they will score," the Kraken striker saidJordana Eberlegohe said after Game 5. “That's the frustrating part. We have to find a way to keep playing aggressively without giving them the best opportunities.
Create more scoring opportunities - and take them
Remember what the Kraken did when they opened the series with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 1. One of the reasons they won was because of the high concentration of shots, scoring opportunities and dangerous scoring opportunities they created in this victory.
It's been harder to find deals like this since then. Especially when you look at Kraken's base metrics over the last two games and how those numbers compare to their overall post-season lineup. Overall, the Kraken are ranked seventh at 29.47 per game on 5-on-5 shots and ninth in dangerous 5-on-5 at 11.13 per game. Rank and last chance to score in 5v5 5v5 with 24.46 per match.
Games 4 and 5 were even worse; During this period, the Kraken averaged 21.5 shots per game in 5v5, with an average of 17 hits and just eight chances per game.
“We have to be a little more patient not to give up on the passes we were making and put more effort into generating a little more on the other end of the ice,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said after Game 5. “They did a really good job of making it hard to get inside and access to your network. They were good in that area tonight."
The stars will try to win the "big period".
Each playoff series has its own distinctive attitude. At this point, the Stars seem to have mastered one trait that defines this particular second-round series: a team that explodes with multi-goal periods.
It all started for the Stars in Game 2 when they scored three goals in the second period in a 4-2 win to level the series. They leveled the series by scoring four goals in the second half to win 6-3 before drawing for the second time in the fourth.
Game 5 was a little different as the Stars scored twice in the first and third periods. This gave the Stars a 5-2 victory while fending off Kraken's late attack.
"We fought a lot. We didn't have big legs. Going 3-0 in hockey is a really tough lead," said Stars coach Pete DeBoer. "The other team has nothing to lose and gave it their all. There's a lot of pressure on us. play-offs have to be won by any means possible, and I was proud of our group."
Joseph PawelskiScoring four goals in the first leg brought a sense of gratitude; It was his first match since being injured in the first round. But there was also cause for concern considering he was the only Stars player to score in a Series 1 game.
It is possible that the stars have found a solution. They had four different scorers in Game Two and are now one win away from the Western Conference Finals as six players combined have scored 11 goals in their last two games.
Roope Hintz is one of those people who found themselves at the center of this offensive fire. Game five ended with one stroke, three runs, giving the Stars a 3-2 lead. Hintz's commitment saw Friday start with the same number of pointsOilmen from EdmontonSuperstar Center and 2020 Hart Trophy winnerLeona Draisaitlato the post-season lead with 18 points.
“It's dynamic. He's a workhorse and he does everything for us, he converts penalties, he gives power, he plays the first few minutes - he does everything," says Stürmer StarsJason Robertsoncalled. "He has a great reputation in our team, we know what he brings, we know what he will continue to do. He's very talented, very quick and definitely one of our top scorers on the team.
Notes from ESPN stats and information
The Kraken won't want to be left behind too soon as they only have one win this season, going 3-0 after one episode and 4-0 after two seasons.
The scoring continued after the season for the Kraken. They have 18 players with at least one goal, more than any other team. The most teams in a single season in NHL history is 21, with the Flyers in 1986–87. and the Bruins in 2018-19.
Of those 18 players, six are defenders. This is the most of any team in the 2023 playoffs, and little more than any team in a single season in NHL history.
Jareda McCannahe scored his first playoff goal in Game 5 for the Kraken. He was a key player in leading the Kraken to the playoffs. During the regular season, the Kraken led 24-7-3 in games where McCann scored.
Kraken goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer has conceded 36 goals in 12 starts this season. His 36 goals is the most of any goalkeeper and six more than the next player on the list (Stuart SkinnerIJake'a Oettingeraboth aged 30).
All-Stars scored five or more goals in consecutive playoff games for the third time in Dallas team history; They did the same in 2020 (three matches in a row from match 6 round 1 to match 2 round 2) and 2019 (matches 4 and 5 round 1).
On the Other Side of the Ice, the Stars allow an average of 3.00 goals per game, which is the second-best average among the rest of the playoff teams behind the Hurricanes at 2.60.
defenderMiro Heiskanenahe has eight assists in 11 playoff games this season. He is now tied with Ray Bourque for the fifth most playoff assists (32) by a defenseman before his 24th birthday in NHL history. "The most is 50" by Paul Coffey.
Joe Pavelski is going from strength to strength with seven goals this postseason and is third among all players. Pavelski concedes only one goal to Martin St. Louis (eight in 2014) and Johnny Bucyk (eight in 1974) for the most post-season goals by a player 38 or older in NHL history.
Pavelski is now the oldest player in NHL history to score seven straight goals. Maurice Richard already held the award at the age of 36 (seven in 1958). Most goals by an American-born player in a single playoff series are eight, three players:Jake Güntzel(2022 1st Round), R.J. Umberger (2008 Conference Semifinals) and Pat LaFontaine (1992 Divisional Semifinals).