The Seattle Kraken and Dallas Stars are all knotted up at two games apiece in their best-of-seven second-round series. Each team won and lost a game while on home ice, and it already looks like the teams are ready to go the distance.
Puck drop is at 9:30 PM ET on TNT. Which team will have the upper hand on Thursday? Let’s crunch some numbers and find out.
Seattle Stellar on the Road
The Kraken have played well away from Climate Pledge Arena so far in these playoffs, mirroring a league-wide trend. Road teams are 39-27 in the 2022-23 postseason, a sign of the increased level of parity around the NHL.
Part of that success has come from Seattle’s physical play style, which can wear opponents down and take the crowd out of the game as well. Five Kraken skaters rank in the top 12 for postseason hits (Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, Brandon Tanev, Yanni Gourde, Eeli Tolvanen).
Seattle also leads all playoff teams in total blocked shots while ranking fifth in blocked shots/60 minutes (18.12 BkS/60).
Getting leading scorer Jared McCann back from injury provided a morale boost for the Kraken in Game Four despite the loss. McCann saw just over 13 minutes of ice time in his first game back. He averaged 16:20 TOI/GP in the regular season, so expect a bigger share of minutes in Game Five.
Daniel Sprong is still listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury after missing Game Four. Andre Burakovsky is nearing a return, but he is still out in the meantime.
Dallas Dominating the Dot
So much of what the Dallas Stars try to do depends on their success in the faceoff dot. Dallas leads all playoff teams with a 57.6% win rate. The next closest remaining playoff team in the Western Conference is the Edmonton Oilers at 52.7%.
Even more impressive is the Stars’ faceoff percentage jumps up to 62.6% in the offensive zone. Dallas’ ability to dictate the play and set the tempo is the biggest reason behind their playoff success so far.
Max Domi had a monster Game Four, scoring two goals and adding an assist. He now ranks second on the team in playoff points behind Roope Hintz with 10, seven of which have come against Seattle.
Jamie Benn snapped a seven-game goalless streak in Game Four. Benn ranked third among Stars skaters in goals in the regular season with 33. He’ll need to continue the offensive contributions if Dallas is going to advance.
Odds and Pick
The Kraken moneyline for Game Five is +160, while the Stars are -190 at home. We’re expecting Dallas to buck the trend and take Game Five. However, the better value play is Stars -1.5 puck line at +135. Both of Dallas’ wins in the series have come by two or more goals, and five of Dallas’ six postseason wins would result in wins on the puck line.
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