DALLAS (AP) — Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski scored 1:22 apart on Dallas’ first two shots in the third period and the Stars beat the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Wednesday in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series that is all even now.
Even without captain Ryan Getzlaf, a surprise late scratch with an upper-body injury, and healthy scratch Teemu Selanne, the Ducks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.
But the Stars, who got physical at home after a pair of one-goal losses in Anaheim to start the series, dominated the rest of the way.
Game 5 is Friday night in Anaheim, and the best-of-seven series returns Sunday to the American Airlines Center for Game 6.
Stars captain Jaime Benn scored unassisted, his third goal of the series, off a faceoff 27 seconds into the second period. Vernon Fiddler managed to get the puck in a small gap between the post and rookie goalie Frederick Andersen to tie it at 2 at 6:33 of the second.
Eakin hit the post in the opening minute of the third period, but skated the length of the ice for the go-ahead goal with 13:38 left. After starting straight down the middle, Eakin went left around a diving defender and keep skating toward the net. He knocked in the puck just before his stick was ripped from his hands by Hampus Lindholm.
The raucous crowd was still in a frenzy when Vernon Fiddler had a backhanded pass to Goligoski, for a wrister that made it 4-2.
Andersen was then pulled in favor of Jonas Hiller, the veteran goalie who won 29 games during the Ducks’ best regular season in franchise history before a late slump that left him on the bench until that point. Hiller faced just one shot in his 10 minutes.
Kari Lehtonen, who was 0-4 in postseason games before stopping 37 shots in Dallas’ 3-0 win on Monday night, had 21 saves Wednesday night.
Getzlaf took a puck in the face in the series opener and played the last two games with a half-cage to protect the stitches just below his mouth. It wasn’t clear if the upper-body injury was related to that, or was a new issue for the captain.
Selanne, who is in his 21st and expected to be his last NHL season, has appeared in a franchise-record 87 postseason games for the Ducks, 15 more than Getzlaf. The 43-year-old Selanne also is the team’s top postseason scorer with 64 points (33 goals, 31 assists), one more than Getzlaf (23 goals, 40 assists).
The absence of their two most experienced postseason players didn’t affect the Ducks early.
Bryan Allen scored on a shot from just inside the blue line with 7:43 left in the first period after taking a pass from Cam Fowler, who was against the board.
Anaheim was up 2-0 when Matthieu Perreault took a shot that hit Lehtonen’s glove. But the puck fell over the goalie’s left shoulder behind him and trickled in with help from Patrick Maroon, the left wing who got the goal after talking about retaliation against Dallas after what the Ducks had perceived as over-aggressive play in Game 3.
Notes: There were 18 penalties, 10 for the Ducks (47 minutes) and eight for the Stars (35 minutes). … Benn has also had an assist and has scored in each game. It appeared that he had an empty-net goal with 1:04 left, but play had been whistled dead.