Game: Seattle Kraken @ Dallas Stars
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Odds: Kraken +175, Stars -195
Monday’s Game 7 of their second-round series between the Seattle Kraken and the Dallas Stars will determine who advances to the Western Conference Finals. Because of the series’ back-and-forth dynamic, it is expected that tonight’s game will be a close one. The two teams are nearly even in goals (Seattle has a 25-24 edge) and shots (Seattle leads 175-167), in addition to each having three victories.
Dallas’ 5-2 win in Game 5 gave the Stars their first lead of the series. They were unable to close it out in Game 6 on Saturday. The Kraken won 6-3 with two goals in each period. Eeli Tolvanen scored a goal and had two assists in Seattle’s victory.
The Kraken had a 16-5 shooting advantage and a 2-1 lead after the first session. That’s when Dallas began to fall apart. Within the first five minutes of the second period, Tolvanen and Tye Kartye each scored goals to push Seattle’s lead to 4-1.
After Kartye’s score, Stars goalie Jake Oettinger was taken out of the game. Both teams have had weak goalie play throughout the series. Over the course of the six games, Oettinger and Philipp Grubauer of Seattle had identical save percentages of .865, with Grubauer’s 3.78 goals against average narrowly surpassing Oettinger’s 3.98 GAA.
Both teams would benefit greatly from either goaltender hitting his stride in Game 7, but Dallas in particular would benefit greatly as the squad relied heavily on defense for much of the season. After only allowing 2.62 goals per game throughout the regular season, the Stars are allowing 4.17 goals per game during the Seattle series.
Joe Pavelski leads Dallas in this series with nine points (eight goals, one assist). Jordan Eberle leads the Kraken with eight points (five goals, three assists). Pavelski missed five games in the Stars’ first-round series against the Minnesota Wild. Despite being out, he still tied the NHL record for most postseason goals scored by a player beyond the age of 38 with eight goals.
Kartye, a 22-year-old forward, is at the opposite end of the spectrum because he has not yet participated in a regular-season game. Kartye made his NHL debut this postseason and is playing in his first NHL playoff series for Seattle. He has three goals and two assists in nine games.
Kartye’s breakthrough may be representative of the Kraken as a whole because few people predicted that the second-year team would even make the playoffs. After traveling to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in the first round, Seattle has already won a Game 7 in the postseason.
After making it to the Stanley Cup Final during the 2020 playoffs, Dallas is attempting to go to the conference finals for the second time in four seasons.
Tonight’s total is set at 5.5, which is odd since four of the six games played so far have ended with nine total goals. Nine of the last ten head-to-head meetings have gone Over the total.
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