Who wins Stars vs. Kraken? Predictions, X factors for Game 7-News

The NHL’s Western Conference finals are on the line Monday night, as a Dallas Stars host is Seattle Kraken in Game 7 of their second series (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The series has been a close one, as the teams split the first four games and the Stars went ahead 3-2, before the Kraken bounced back with a 6-3 victory on home ice in Game 6.

Who will win the most important race? And which players in each team will have the most impact on the outcome? Our NHL reporters join:

Who will be the key player for Seattle?

Ryan S. Clark, NHL reporter: There won’t be just one. There will be several, because that’s how the group has gone. For every reason you can say it will Matty Beniers, Vince Dunn, Yanni Gourde or Phillip Grubauerit could be Adam Larsson, Eli Tolvanen or Justin Schultz on the contrary.

Victoria Matiash, NHL player: Grubauer will need to be more effective against a Dallas offense that will need to work hard from the start. The Stars are well coached and experienced enough to allow them to win the first round for the third game in a row. Jake Oettinger they haven’t lost two in a row this postseason. Seattle’s netminder needs to be the better of the two for his team to have any hope going forward. Great ask, all things considered.

Kristen Shilton, NHL reporter: Grubauer. Seattle is not a star-driven team. The Kraken will need a star turn from their goaltender in Game 7. Grubauer is 3-3 with a .865 save percentage and a 3.78 goals against average in this series. Dallas saw the Kraken knock off Oettinger in Game 6. Goaltending has never been more important in this game than it is right now, and Grubauer needs to do his best and deliver the right amount of work this season.

Greg Wyshynski, NHL reporter: I know the Kraken is the owner no stars, a different hero every night In the Stanley Cup playoffs. He said, Jordan Eberle He has been a force in his own right in this series. The forward has eight points in six games, including a three-point night in Game 6 to help push the Stars to the playoffs. He’s the best Kraken in the series — playful beards to match — and a prime example of Beniers’ past competitive streak. It’s Kartye. Eberle was the director New York Islanders in the playoffs, and it has been the same for Seattle.

Who will be the main player in Dallas?

Clark: It’s an argument in the middle Roope Hintz and Jake Oettinger. We’ll go with Hintz for this reason: He didn’t score a point in Game 6, which was huge given how much he drives. There’s a reason he’s tied for second in postseason points, with 18.

Mathias: Captain Jamie Benn and his 3-1 record in Game 7s will set the tone in the locker room and on the ice for the Stars. Before failing to register a point in Game 6, the veteran leader had assists in each of the previous meetings with Seattle. By getting back on the scoring path — and contributing to every other aspect of the game — he’s been one of Dallas’ most important contributors in this crucial tilt.

Shilton: Joe Pavelski. He has scored 10 points in eight playoff games so far. And no one will be more motivated than Pavelski to take Dallas to the next round. He’s a veteran who has been chasing the Stanley Cup his entire career, and opportunities like Dallas’s have come a few times. Look for Pavelski to do his best to get the Stars to the line.

Wyshynski: Jake Oettinger, all positions. There are statistics that many Stars fans will cite as text ahead of Game 7: Since the end of last season’s final game, Oettinger is an astounding 23-2-3 with a loss this season. That includes a 4-0 mark in the playoffs. After Pete DeBoer pulled him in Game 6, the coach said he was “looking down to make sure Jake is strong.” In other words, it wasn’t so much an attempt to impress a flat team as it was to make sure Oettinger was rested and ready for his return game.

What is your final prediction?

Clark: Look at the two factors that have led this list: Which group can be violent quickly, and which can explode in the big time. Whoever can do one of these two things, if not both, will win the game. Let’s say the Kraken won 5-3 (I realize the Stars could do the same).

Mathias: The veteran leadership and experience give the Stars — who haven’t lost two in a row this postseason — the edge in this one. Dallas takes a 6-3 lead over the Kraken, who have every right to hold their heads high in what has been an impressive run in the franchise’s second season.

Shilton: It sounds like this is going to be a very successful story. Maybe not a safety-choice, exactly. But after the way Game 6 was played, I know nothing will be left undone, and I expect both sides to be aggressive and burn everything in the net. I look forward to many opportunities to leave quickly and a good opportunity to go back and forth. Dallas leads Seattle 5-4.

Wyshynski: Dallas won 4-2. Despite Oettinger’s powerful moves, the Kraken isn’t going down without a fight. But the early numbers tell us that Dallas may have already placed on this list; The Stars’ low numbers on defense at 5-on-5 in the past two games have been outstanding, and they should get a save from Oettinger in Game 7. That combined with the home crowd and the Stars’ upset should be enough. advancing Dallas to the conference finals.

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