Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk logged three assists in a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of a second-round NHL playoff series Tuesday in Toronto. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
May 3 (UPI) -- Yanni Gourde snatched a loose puck and smacked it into the top corner of the net to lead the Seattle Kraken to a dramatic overtime win over the Dallas Stars in the opener of a second-round NHL playoff series in Dallas.
The Kraken claimed the 5-4 victory despite four goals from Stars forward Joe Pavelski on Tuesday at the American Airlines Center. Pavelski, 38, is the oldest player in NHL history to score four goals in a playoff game.
"It's huge," Gourde told reporters, when asked about the win. "That's how you want to start a series. It's going to be a tough series. We know how good and strong they are."
Earlier Tuesday, the wild card Florida Panthers beat the No. 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference second-round series.
Forward Jordan Eberle logged a goal and assist in the Kraken's Game 1 win over the Stars. Fellow forwards Jaden Schwartz, Oliver Bjorkstrand and defenseman Jaden Schwartz scored the other goals for the Kraken.
Stars forward Max Domi earned assists on three of Gourde's four scores. Game 2 of the best-of-seven game series will be Thursday in Dallas.
Pavelski lit the lamp 2:25 into Game 1, beating Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer for a 1-0 lead. Schwartz answered nine minutes later with his third goal of the postseason, tying the game for the Kraken.
Pavelski scored his second goal of the night less than a minute later, but the Kraken responded with three-unanswered goals and carried a two-score edge into the second period.
Schultz started that surge 14:28 into the first period. Bjorkstrand beat Stars net minder Jake Oettinger for the go-ahead score 11 seconds later. Eberle gave the Kraken a 4-2 edge with 4:48 remaining in the period.
Neither team scored over the next 34:37. Pavelski ended that drought 9:50 into the third period. He added his fourth score of the night less than four minutes later, which tied the game and led to overtime.
Kraken forward Eeli Tolvanen toyed with the puck above the right circle to start the final sequence. He then sent a pass to defenseman Adam Larsson, who faked a shot and fired a pass to Bjorkstrand. Bjorkstrand had two shots denied by Oettinger, who deflected the puck to the right of the net.
Gourde then wrestled with Stars defenseman Esa Lindell before he recovered the loose puck. He then turned and rifled a shot toward the net, beating Grubauer with a wicked wrist shot.
The No. 2 Stars will host the wild card Kraken in Game 2 at 9:30 p.m. EDT Thursday in Dallas. The winner of the series will face the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights or No. 2 Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference finals. Game 1 of the Oilers-Golden Knights series will be at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Sam Bennett logged a goal and assist for the Panthers in their Game 1 win over the Maple Leafs. Fellow Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk registered three assists.
Panthers forward Nick Cousins scored the first goal of the game 9:25 into the first period. Bennett gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead 7:58 into the second. Maple Leafs forwards Matthew Knies and Michael Bunting responded with two-answered goals.
Forward Carter Verhaeghe, who scored the game-winner for the Panthers in Game 7 of their first-round series against the top-seeded Boston Bruins, scored another go-ahead goal with 2:13 remaining in the second period.
Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour scored the final goal of the night 12:24 into the third period.
The Maple Leafs will host the Panthers in Game 2 at 7 p.m. Thursday in Toronto. The winner of the series will meet the top-seeded Carolina Hurricanes or No. 2 New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference finals. Game 1 of the Devils-Hurricanes series will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.