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3 Goals In 52 Seconds, Pavelski's Texas Hattie And A Seattle OT Win: Kraken-Stars Game 1 Was Fucking Awesome

This was one of those barn burners where you can't possibly highlight one single play and leave the rest out. Complete and utter chaos. 

What a freaking story the Seattle Kraken are. To me, they did reasonably well enough in the expansion draft that it inflated their expectations for their inaugural season, but they wound up with only 60 points. Fast forward to this year. Seattle comes out of the hotly contested West as a 100-point Wild Card team. Proceeds to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champion Avs in seven...

...Now they do this!? DAMN! The Stanely Cup Playoffs have been capital-N NERRRRRTS so far. Gallant road warrior efforts across the entire slate.

That flurry of three goals was particularly impressive. Stars goalie Jake Oettinger entered Tuesday with a 1.83 GAA in his playoff career. To get three pucks past him inside a minute of ice time is unreal. 

Joe Pavelski gave the Stars a spark to say the least in his return from injury. A geographically-appropriate Texas hat trick!? Relatively-old-timer STILL GOT IT. Rusty? LOL. More like vintage.

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Dallas needed every bit of "Playoff Pavelski" in this one. Did they ever get it. That equalizer Pavelski somehow deflected home off a broken play is some of the best goal-scoring stick work I've seen in a minute. Unreal hand-eye coordination in the moment. It's a patented part of Pavelski's arsenal yet is no less impressive anytime I see it.

The Kraken held strong even as Pavelski rallied his side from a 4-2 deficit in the third. Philipp Grubauer stood on his head in OT, where Dallas largely dominated puck possession and generated multiple golden opportunities to win it:

Just wasn't meant to be for the hosts. Kraken captain Yanni Gourde knew beating Oettinger was hard enough. Wisely just snapped that shit on net and just absolutely ripped it from the short side. Unreal finish.

Credit Florida for carrying through its momentum from that 3-1 rally against Boston and defeating the Maple Leafs in that series opener. Just wasn't nearly as compelling as what unfolded in Dallas.

The all-time choke job that the Bruins put forth in their series with the Panthers overshadowed what the Kraken accomplished by knocking out the Avalanche as only a second-year NHL franchise. Did the hockey world even properly appreciate the Golden Knights for when they ran all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season of existence? We gotta start giving some of these other clubs a little shine when possible. Hashtag GROW THE GAME and that.

Even more impressive in Seattle's case is the fact that leading scorer Jared McCann didn't even make the trip to Dallas. McCann has been sidelined since getting his clock cleaned by Colorado superstar Cale Makar in Game 4 of their opening-round matchup. Hopefully he can come back once the Kraken take this semifinals showdown back home.

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Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok