Johnston’s apprenticeship with Pavelski pays off for Stars in Game 2 win

DALLAS– Joe Pavelsky took Wyatt Johnston under his wing and at home this season.

Each played a key role in the Dallas Stars game on Thursday Victory 4-2 against the Seattle Kraken in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round at the American Airlines Center.

Johnston had a goal and an assist. Pavelski, who scored four times in a 5-4 overtime loss in Tuesday’s Game 1, scored a power play goal.

The best-of-7 series, which is tied 1-1, travels to Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle for Game 3 on Sunday (9:30 p.m. ET; TBS, SN, TVAS).

“Yeah, I don’t know what they’re eating in the Pavelski house right now, but it’s working,” the Dallas forward said. Tyler Seguin said. “Ms. Pavelski cooks good food or something, because they’re buzzing.”

[RELATED: Complete Stars vs. Kraken series coverage]

Johnston moved in with the Pavelski family early this season because the coaching staff thought it would be good for him, as a 19-year-old NHL rookie, to have a great mentor.

“It’s fun to watch because Wyatt is just starting his career and Joe has done everything but win a (Stanley) Cup,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “Joe understands the importance of messaging and what it teaches Wyatt, and I think Wyatt is going to appreciate that later, probably a lot more than he does now.

“He’s a pretty smart kid, but I think he’s going to really get it in 10 years when he looks back and says, ‘Wow, I was lucky to be in this situation with this guy.

Johnston gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 3:43 of the second period, seven seconds after their power play ended. He then set up Pavelski for his power-play goal at 16:57 to make it 3-1.

Video: SEA@DAL, Gm2: Johnston opens the scoring on a rebound

At 19 years and 355 days, Johnston became the fifth teenager in Stars/Minnesota North Stars history to score multiple Stanley Cup Playoff goals, joining Brad Palmer (eight), Brian Bellows (seven), Tom McCarthy (five) and Miro Heiskanen (two). He also scored the game-winning goal when Dallas eliminated the Minnesota Wild with a 4-1 victory in Game 6 of the first round on April 28.

“This series, I think it’s just a lot of speed, a lot of skill,” Johnston said. “I think for me personally, I’ve kind of been able to learn and adapt and see how playoff hockey is at the NHL level, try my best first and adjust my game by playing this way.”

Meanwhile, Pavelski’s goal late in the second has earned him five goals in two games in this series. Tuesday was his first game back after suffering a concussion on a hit from the Wild defenseman Matt Dumba in game 1 of the first round.

Pavelski joins former forward Steve Payne as the only players in Stars/North Stars history to score five goals in a two-game playoff span. Payne had three in Game 1 and two in Game 2 for the North Stars against the Boston Bruins in the 1981 preliminary round.

Pavelski has 69 career playoff goals, third among active players behind Alex Ovechkin of the capitals of Washington (72) and Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins (71).

“It’s been a weird few weeks at the Pavelskis,” Johnston said. “I’m just trying to do my best to learn from Joe. Seeing what he’s done in those two games, it’s pretty amazing. To see how good he is, how impactful he is , I mean, I’m just trying to learn from him and kind of help to do the same things as him.”

Video: SEA@DAL, GM2: Pavelski puts the loose puck home for PPG

The Stars were frustrated after Game 1, feeling they had ruined Pavelski’s remarkable night with the overtime loss. They made up for it in Game 2, bringing a more balanced attack with four different scorers (Johnston, Pavelski, Yevgeny Dadonov and Seguin).

But the biggest improvement came at the other end, where the Stars limited the Kraken to 14 shots on goal in the first two periods and kept Seattle from getting closer to the goaltender. Jake Oettingerwhat they allowed in Game 1.

Dallas rebounded as he hoped. This series is not going to be easy, but the Stars played their style of hockey a lot more in Game 2, and it paid off.

“I think at this time of year that’s what it’s all about,” said Oettinger, who made 25 saves. “The great teams, the ones that have won everything, their records are always crazy after defeats. They brush their teeth, they take the good and learn from the bad and forget it pretty quickly.

“Those streaks are long. Every game is huge and that’s what it’s all about, that’s the answer, and we’ve been great with that.”

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