from Iain MacxIntyre of Sportsnet,
For hockey teams, a high floor is nice. But a high ceiling is better.
The Seattle Kraken have a high floor. Their talent is balanced, their effort and mindset uniform and consistent. But in terms of players, they haven’t yet built a high ceiling. The Dallas Stars have a soaring, vaulted canopy — pushed skyward by a showpiece top line of Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski.
On Thursday, with the Kraken and Stars tied 2-2 in their National Hockey League playoff series, Seattle was probably the better team. Certainly, they were the dominant one in the first half of Game 5 in Dallas. But the Kraken have no line that can elevate like Hintz, Robertson and Pavelski, who generated two early goals against the run of play and then manufactured the third-period clincher as the Stars won 5-2 to move within one game of the Western Conference Final.
Hintz scored twice and assisted on Pavelski’s goal that made it 3-0 for Dallas 35 seconds into the middle period, moving into a tie with the Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl for the Stanley Cup Playoffs scoring lead at 18 points through 12 games. And Robertson, the 46-goal scorer from the regular season whose lack of impact through the first three games of the series was concerning, had three assists to make it an eight-point night for the Stars’ No. 1 line.
Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger, pulled in Game 3 as the Kraken took a 2-1 series lead, stopped 29 of 31 shots and looks again like the best goalie still butterflying in the playoffs.
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