Who will win Game 7 between the Stars and Kraken?
The Dallas Stars and Seattle Kraken have played a back-and-forth second-round series, and now it all comes down to Game 7.
On the line is a trip to the Western Conference Final. For Seattle, it would be the first such trip in franchise history, while Dallas is trying to make it two appearances in four seasons.
The Kraken opened round two with a win in Game 1 before the Stars countered with a series-tying win in Game 2. The same pattern repeated in the next two games, evening the series at 2-2.
Dallas took its first series lead of the round in Game 5, but the Kraken fought off elimination by winning Game 6.
Will it be the Stars or Kraken that win Game 7?
This has been an offensively-driven series, so a standout performance by either goaltender in this game could steal the game. So far, however, both goalies have been pulled from a game at least once, and both have seen their save percentages dip to around .900 for the postseason.
Assuming that doesn’t magically change in Game 7, fans should keep a close eye on the top scorers for both teams. For the Stars, Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz will be the difference makers. Hintz leads Dallas with 18 points, while Pavelski has scored eight goals in this series alone.
For the Kraken, Jordan Eberle has notched five goals in this round-two matchup, and Yanni Gourde leads the team with 12 points. Scoring has been a team effort throughout the regular season and postseason, though, so the more players on the scoresheet, the more likely that Seattle is going to win.
The power play is one area in which the Stars have a decided advantage. During the regular season, Dallas’s power play was fifth in the NHL and five percentage points higher than that of Seattle. In the playoffs, it’s still top-five, but it’s about 18 points higher than Seattle’s.
The Kraken did strike with the man advantage in Game 6, and in a winner-take-all contest, one would expect the number of penalties committed to be lower than normal. That could work in the visiting team’s favor.
Overall, I’m hoping for a close game and not a blowout like we’ve seen often in the second round. Both teams seem to be coming in on a level playing surface, so any player could be the hero in Game 7. I’ll take the Stars to get the win and advance.