The Dallas Stars scored two goals in 32 seconds in the third period, then held on for a 5-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 to extend their lead in the Western Conference Second Round series at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Sunday.
Dallas had a 3-2 lead before Roope Hintz scored on the power-play at 7:30, and Denis Gurianov made it 5-2 at 8:02 when Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar misplayed the puck behind the net and it bounced off Francouz.
"It just seems like when one team gets one goal, it kind of gives them a boost," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "We found a way to get three quick ones early there (in the first period). They're a good team, they are going to battle back. … I'm not sure why it's going back and forth like this, but it is and you've just got to handle the momentum as it comes and not get too high, not get too low."
[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Stars highlights]
Radek Faksa had a goal and two assists, and Hintz and John Klingberg each had a goal and an assist for Dallas, the No. 3 seed in the West, which scored three power-play goals.
Teams with a 3-1 lead are 284-29 (90.7 percent) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series, including 6-0 in the first round this season.
Game 5 is in Edmonton, the Western hub city, on Monday (9:45 p.m., ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS).
Valeri Nichushkin scored twice for Colorado, the No. 2 seed in the West. Pavel Francouz allowed five goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Michael Hutchinson 8:02 into the third period. Hutchinson made three saves in his playoff debut.
The Stars scored three times in the first 10:45 of the game.
Klingberg gave Dallas a 1-0 lead after Francouz was unable to secure a shot by Faksa at 6:18.
"A lot of players are feeling really good about their game right now and that's why we're such a confident group," Kilngberg said. "… Something that we were talking about to start of camp in August, we wanted the D to be more involved, get more O-zone time, and that's one of the keys to why you're seeing more offense."
Video: COL@DAL, Gm4: Klingberg jams rebound to open scoring
Faksa made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 8:33 on a rebound in front.
Benn extended the lead to 3-0 on the power play, tipping a shot by Alexander Radulov at 10:45.
"They came out hard, earned their bounces and all of a sudden we're down 3-0," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We started playing and obviously we got better as the game wore on, especially in the second period. We were looking good at times and had a push to tie it up in the third. But getting down in the hole early didn't help us."
Nichushkin got the Avalanche within 3-1 at 13:24 of the second period.
Makar scored with 26 seconds remaining in the second to make it 3-2 with Colorado on a 5-on-3 power play. Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games (21 points; seven goals, 14 assists); he's had a point in every game this postseason.
The Avalanche did have a shot on goal until 18:36 into the period but outshot the Stars 32-19 after the first.
"I mean we had that tough first 5-10 minutes but end of the first we were buzzing, completely outplayed them in the second, felt good going into the third, had the power play, had a good seven or eight minutes of the third," MacKinnon said. "I don't know what the scoring chances were, but we had a lot of good tips in front, things like that. Then they get the fourth one, just deflating, and I guess that's why I thought we should've won."
Video: COL@DAL, Gm4: Benn deflects puck home for PPG
Nichushkin's second of the game made it 5-3 at 11:24 of the third, and Vladislav Namestnikov scored with four seconds left for the 5-4 final.
"We definitely did some good things today, but we didn't get the job done," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "Penalties tonight. [Penalty kill] has to be better (3-for-6), goaltending has to improve a little bit, discipline has to improve, and we all have to dig in more on the defensive side of things. We're scoring enough. We have to win one game."
The Stars can advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2008, when they lost in six games to the Detroit Red Wings.
"We're keeping our composure," said Benn, who referenced when Dallas defeated the Calgary Flames 7-3 in Game 6 of the first round after trailing 3-0 in the first period. "We know how hard that Game 6 was against Calgary. Obviously we didn't get off to a good start at all. We'll sit on this one for a couple of hours but move on and get right back at it tomorrow."
NOTES: Miro Heiskanen had an assist on Faksa's goal and has 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) to set a Stars/Minnesota North Stars record for most points by a defenseman in a single postseason. Craig Hartsburg scored 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in the 1981 playoffs. … The Stars scored at least five goals for the sixth time in nine games. They scored at least five goals in five of their 69 regular-season games. … Dallas is 10-1 in franchise history when leading a best-of-7 series 3-1.
NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report
Video: Stars top Avalanche in Game 4, take 3-1 series lead