Stars’ Pavelski returns and scores four goals in ‘epic’ opener

ESPN News Services3 minute read

DALLAS — Yanni Gourde scored 12:17 into overtime, and the Seattle Kraken — after defeating the Colorado Avalanche in the first round — kept their momentum going with a 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night in the first game of their second-round playoffs.

Joe Pavelski scored four goals for the Stars after missing the last five games of the opening round while in concussion protocol. His efforts weren’t enough to save the Stars, however, as the Kraken escaped in overtime.

Pavelski’s fourth goal of the night with 6½ minutes left in the third period tied the game at 4. He smashed a puck into the net in the air.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, at 38 years and 295 days, Pavelski became the oldest player with a four-goal game in playoff history. The milestone was previously held by Maurice Richard (35 years, 245 days), who achieved it in Game 1 of the 1957 Stanley Cup Finals as his Montreal Canadiens faced the Boston Bruins.

“Epic. Epic. Shame we messed it up and didn’t win,” Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said of Pavelski’s effort. “It’s on our group. … He tried to drag us to a win tonight.”

A low-key Pavelski downplayed the impact of his efforts, focusing more on the match result.

“I was thrilled to be back, for sure,” he said. “Starting the game was just as fun. But, obviously, a tough loss. You want to get them.”

The sophomore Kraken received goals from five different players after 15 different players scored in the first round against the Avalanche.

“I loved our response,” Gourde said after Seattle surrendered a two-goal lead before winning. “I loved our composure. … We were confident the process was going to do it.”

Pavelski scored twice in the first period, his first goal being a 25-foot wrist just 2½ minutes into the game to put the Stars ahead 1-0. He scored on his first shot, on a pass from Mason Marchment. Max Domi got secondary help.

About 10 minutes later, after Seattle equalized, Pavelski scored again from around the same distance with a redirection from Thomas Harley. The Kraken then scored three goals in 68 seconds to take a 4-2 lead.

Pavelski had the hat trick midway through the third period when he hit a rebound after captain Jamie Benn shot Philipp Grubauer.

The three goals took Pavelski’s record for American-born players to 68 career playoff goals.

Pavelski was on the ice for the opening quarter of the game, although he was not immediately reinstated on the first line. He was with Marchment and Domi, as he was when he trained on Monday.

Tyler Seguin, who scored four power-play goals in the six-game series against the Minnesota Wild, remained on the top line with Jason Robertson and NHL playoff leading scorer Roope Hintz. Seguin had moved to that line after Pavelski, 38, suffered an injury.

Pavelski had just cleared the puck midway through the second period of Game 1 of the season opener against Minnesota on April 17 when he took a hit from defenseman Matt Dumba. Pavelski hit his head hard on the ice as he fell.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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