Posted by Georgebop on June 25, 2023 at 03:10:32:
The Seattle Kraken know the situation they're in. They trail the Dallas Stars three games to two in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series, with Game 6 Saturday in Seattle. "It's do-or-die next game," Kraken forward Jordan Eberle said.
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"This is when it gets exciting. These are the games we want to play in." The Kraken trailed 2-1 in their opening-round series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche before rallying to win in seven games. So they've come back in a series before already this spring. "I'm confident we can come back in this series. It's far from over," said Kraken defenseman Adam Larsson, who had a goal in Thursday's 5-2 loss at Dallas.
"One thing with this team, we have never quit. We probably never will." But they'll have to stop the Stars' top line of Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson, which combined for eight points Thursday. Hintz led the way with two goals and an assist, moving him into a tie with Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl for the NHL's scoring lead this postseason with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists). "He's been just an absolute monster for us this playoff, at the most important times," Stars coach Peter DeBoer said.
"I mean, (Thursday was) obviously a critical game for our group, and he comes out in the first 10 minutes and basically lets everyone in the building know that he's here to play and dragging our group around, and he's done that the entire playoff. "It's almost been a little bit of a coming-out party for him.
I think he's been a playoff player before, and a good playoff player, but he hasn't been a dominant playoff player. That's what he looks like in this year's playoffs." Not to be outdone, Pavelski has seven goals in the series and Robertson has three goals and three assists, with all three helpers coming Thursday. Pavelski scored 35 seconds into the second period of Game 5, giving the Stars a 3-0 lead before the Kraken clawed back later in the period to make it 3-2. Hintz scored at 11:20 of the third to give Dallas some breathing room. "I mean, you want to play aggressive, you want to play on your toes, you want to skate.
That's the way we want to play," Eberle said. "We want to be a quick team, but we have to be smart about it, too. We can't be diving in everywhere and giving them odd-man rushes and opportunities to score. It's just having the smarts and the veteran presence to know when to do that and when not to do it. "I think even if you're 98 percent sure and two percent off, the two percent are the ones that end up in the back of your net. We have to find a way to just continue to play that way but limit the chances they get." The Stars clinched their opening-round victory at Minnesota.
They hope to advance again on the road Saturday and avoid a Game 7. "Now it's on us to go there and end this on the road, which we did in the (first-round) Minnesota series," DeBoer said. "Hopefully we have the same result." --Field Level Media
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