Seattle Kraken vs. Dallas Stars Pick & Prediction MARCH 30th 2024

The Dallas Stars became the first Western Conference team to clinch a Stanley Cup playoff berth when they beat the host Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Thursday.

Yet the Stars (46-19-9, 101 points), who visit the Seattle Kraken on Saturday, aren’t ready to rest quite yet.

The Stars are just one point behind the New York Rangers in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy, which goes to the NHL team with the best regular-season record. That distinction comes with home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

“We know how important getting those home games are,” said Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger, who made 27 saves against the Canucks. “So that’s what we’re playing for right now and trying to get our game to the level we played to (Thursday) for the rest of the season.

“If we play like that, we’ll be very confident going into the postseason, and we’re trying to win the Presidents’ Trophy. It’s not every year you can say you’re trying to win the Presidents’ Trophy.”

The Stars last won the Presidents’ Trophy 25 years ago, and they went on to claim their only Stanley Cup in that 1998-99 season.

“We want to win as many games as we can here going in the playoffs,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “I like how we’re playing. We’ve got eight games left. If that results in a Presidents’ Trophy, fantastic. If it doesn’t and we keep playing and our game stays in the same place, we’re comfortable playing against anybody.”

On Thursday, Roope Hintz had a goal and two assists while Jason Robertson and Jamie Benn each had one goal and one assist as Dallas won its season-high sixth game in a row.

“I just like the detail in our game,” DeBoer said. “We’re not worried about the result. We’re worried about playing playoff-type, detailed hockey, line changes, putting pucks in good places, making sure our special teams are good, making sure our goaltender is good. When you do that and your details are in a good place, usually results take care of themselves, and that’s what’s happening.”

The Kraken (30-29-13, 73 points) have won two in a row, beating the visiting Anaheim Ducks twice this week, 4-0 and 4-2, following an eight-game skid (0-6-2) that knocked them out of the West’s wild-card race.

Goaltender Joey Daccord was forced to make just 12 saves while shutting out the Ducks on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Seattle fell behind Anaheim 2-1 after allowing two short-handed goals on the same power play early in the third period, only to score three times in a 9:10 span to win it. Andre Burakovsky and Matty Beniers scored with the man advantage and Tye Kartye netted the go-ahead goal.

“I guess it’s how you answer, and our power play answered,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Obviously, to give up the sloppy goals back-to-back that we did can be catastrophic in a game. Fortunately for us, we had another opportunity coming, and those guys were able to capitalize and get one back.”

Kartye’s goal was his first in 26 games since mid-January.

“I feel like we stayed positive (after giving up two short-handed goals), and we knew there was still a lot of time left,” Kartye said. “That’s why we were able to sneak one out there.”

–Field Level Media

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