The Seattle Kraken spoiled Stars forward Joe Pavelski’s storybook return with a 5-4 overtime win in Dallas in Game 1 of their second-round series.
Pavelski scored four goals in his return to the lineup after he missed the majority of the first round after landing in the concussion protocol. But it wasn’t quite enough as the Kraken blitzed the Stars with a four-goal first period then got the overtime winner from Yanni Gourde at 12:17 of the first overtime.
The 38-year-old American star made his presence felt immediately on Tuesday night, scoring just 2:25 into the game on a nice setup by Mason Marchment. Goal No. 2 came via a deflection later in the first period and gave the Stars a 2-1 lead. Pavelski had not played since he was knocked out of Game 1 of the first round on a hit by Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba.
The Kraken exploded shortly after Pavelski’s second strike, scoring three goals in a 68-second span. That gave the visitors, fresh off a Game 7 win over the defending champion Colorado Avalanche, a 4-2 lead that they took into the first intermission.
Pavelski completed the hat trick at 9:50 of the third period then tied the game at 13:23 when he knocked a puck out of the air and into the net. At 38 years and 295 days old, Pavelski is the oldest NHL player to record a four-goal game in the playoffs. His four-goal night also moved him past Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin for third place on the list of the NHL’s active playoff goal-scorers. Pavelski’s 68 playoff goals trail only Sidney Crosby (71) and Alex Ovechkin (72) among active players.
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Despite Pavelski’s impressive return, the Stars still lost the game and trail the second-year Kraken 1-0. Dallas dropped its first game against Minnesota in double overtime before going on to win the series in six games.
“Epic. Epic. Ashamed we wasted (Pavelski’s performance) and didn’t win,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “That’s on our group because, you know, he more than did his part. He tried to drag us to a win.”
Contributing: Associated Press