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5 takeaways: Setting the tone early paves way for the rest against Kraken

The Stars jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 50 seconds into the game and took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara / Digital Manager

DALLAS -- With every passing day, Joe Pavelski gets better. Leave it to the 37-year-old forward to set a career-high for points in a game in his 16th NHL season.

The beloved No. 16 scored two goals and added five points in the Stars' resounding 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday, continuing a string of dominance at American Airlines Center.

It got to the point where fans were chanting "We want Joe!" with Pavelski needing just one goal to record a hat trick. He nearly got it in the closing seconds of the third period when his teammates did everything they could to get it done.

What a night for Pavelski, his linemates and the Stars. Now if they can just bottle this and turn it into wins on the road.

Here are the five takeaways of the game.

Video: Pavelski's big night propels Stars past Kraken, 5-2

 

HINTZ SCORES TEAM-LEADING 14TH GOAL OF SEASON

It took all of 50 seconds for the Stars' top line to leave its mark. With chemistry that simply can't be put into words, the trio combined for the game's opening goal, a Hintz deflection on Jason Robertson's shot from the left dot.

Not only did it give Hintz the team lead in goals (14), but it also gave Robertson points in 11 straight home games, the longest for Dallas since John Klingberg recorded points in 11 straight home games from Dec. 9-Jan. 23, 2018.

Video: SEA@DAL: Robertson's shot deflects in off Hintz

 

…BUT PAVELSKI WAS LIKE, 'HOLD MY BEVERAGE'

Hintz held the team's lead in goals for all of 10:10 before Pavelski scored a put-back for his 14th of the season. The savvy veteran was at the right place at the right time (isn't he always?) to calmly tap in Miro Heiskanen's point shot that caromed off the end boards and back into the crease.

Video: SEA@DAL: Pavelski puts home loose puck in 1st

Pavelski finished the first period with a goal and two assists. Furthermore, the Big Three combined for three goals and seven points in the opening 20 minutes.

 

USING SUNDAY AS MOTIVATION

The Stars had moved on from Sunday's heartbreaking (and frustrating) loss in St. Louis, but they certainly hadn't forgotten about it. Prior to Wednesday's game, Tyler Seguin said the message was to take out their frustration from Sunday on the Kraken, and the Stars did just that in the first period.

Dallas came out flying from the drop of the puck and set the tone 50 seconds into the game when Hintz scored off an icing call to Seattle. They held a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes and found a big insurance marker in the second period. (More on that below).

 

BIG RESPONSE AFTER KEY PENALTY KILL

Call it a turning point in the game, the Stars holding a one-goal lead in the late stages of the second period and having to kill off a two-minute penalty. After successfully doing so, they responded on the following shift with an enormous goal from Pavelski to double their lead.

Pavelski's goal, his second of the night (and fourth point in the game), gave the Stars some insurance with 1:23 left in the middle frame. It came off a beautiful feed from Esa Lindell, who spotted Pavelski lurking just outside the crease.

Video: SEA@DAL: Lindell sets up Pavelski's second goal

 

SETTING THE TONE EARLY

The Stars had a string of games in which they scored first (and early), which paved the way for the remainder of those contests. They got off to exactly the kind of start they wanted on Wednesday.

Though the Kraken evened the score eight minutes later, that would be the closest they'd get. The Stars regained the lead soon after and never looked back.

There's the often-used cliché starting the game on time, and the Stars have been consistent in that aspect. And when they're ready from the jump, good things usually follow.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Kyle Shohara is the Digital Manager for DallasStars.com and writes about the Stars/NHL. Follow him on Twitter @kyleshohara.

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