WCF, Gm4: Stars @ Oilers Recap

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers rallied with five straight goals to defeat the Dallas Stars 5-2 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at Rogers Place on Wednesday.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2. Game 5 will be in Dallas on Friday.

Evan Bouchard, Leon Draisaitl, Mattias Ekholm, Mattias Janmark and Ryan McLeod scored for the Oilers, who are the No. 2 seed from the Pacific Division. Connor McDavid had three assists, and Stuart Skinner made 20 saves.

“I was thinking it was going to be a long night,” Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch said. “Yeah, it didn’t look very good. Things weren’t going our way. They looked much sharper making plays.

“It wasn’t the start [we wanted], but you’ve seen this right through the series where both teams have absolutely dominated, and then the other team has dominated. Like, it’s been back-and-forth.”

DAL@EDM WCF, Gm4: Janmark converts SHG on 2-on-1 rush

Wyatt Johnston and Esa Lindell scored, Jamie Benn had two assists, and Jake Oettinger made 24 saves for the Stars, who are the No. 1 seed from the Central Division.

“We’ll reset here, going to learn from it, and we’ve got a great opportunity in front of us,” Benn said. “Best-of-3 on home ice here, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Dallas took a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the game 58 seconds into the first period. Johnston skated into a lofted pass from Benn just inside the blue line before beating Skinner glove side from the left circle.

Lindell made it 2-0 at 5:29 with a wrist shot from the left point that deflected in off the back of Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse.

“We got up 2-0, got the start we wanted, but I don’t think we had enough guys playing at a high enough level,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “The rest of the game they were the better team. That’s the bottom line.”

McLeod, who was a healthy scratch in Game 3, cut it to 2-1 at 13:30 of the first. He lifted in a puck at the right post after Oettinger couldn't cover the rebound of Corey Perry's shot from the right circle.

It was the first point of the playoffs for both McLeod and Perry, who had been a healthy scratch the previous five games.

Bouchard tied it 2-2 at 16:17 of the first, scoring into an open net after a shot by McDavid produced a big rebound off Oettinger's left pad.

DAL@EDM WCF, Gm4: Bouchard hammers home rebound to knot score

McDavid then had a chance to put the Oilers in front with 2:20 remaining in the period. Oettinger dropped his stick and had it knocked behind him by Zach Hyman, but its positioning along the goal line actually prevented McDavid's shot at an open net from going in.

However, Janmark did give Edmonton a 3-2 lead at 14:31 of the second period. He scored a short-handed goal with a one-timer from the right circle off a cross-ice pass from Connor Brown.

“Yeah, that was kind of a kick in the butt,” Benn said. “Their PK’s good. I think they’ve been pretty good all playoffs. They put a lot of pressure on you and we’ll have to find a way to get a little creative here and try and break it down.”

The Oilers are 23-for-23 on the penalty kill in their past eight games.

“We’ve been confident lately, have a good kill in this series. So, we got them a little bit on their heels today, I think,” Janmark said. “We played to our structure there on the goal and we got a big block from Nurse."

Draisaitl scored 51 seconds later to make it 4-2 at 15:22. Following a giveaway by the Stars in the neutral zone, Draisaitl initiated a give-and-go with Hyman before beating Oettinger blocker side from all alone in front.

DAL@EDM WCF, Gm4: Hyman, Draisaitl connect to double Oilers lead

Ekholm scored into an empty net from his own zone at 18:07 of the third period for the 5-2 final.

“I think maybe we were a little sleepy for a couple minutes there (in the first period),” Draisaitl said. “... But we found our legs, got going a little bit, started to play our game. Stayed fresh, rolled lines, and obviously we’re a tough team to handle when we play that way.”

NOTES: Stars defenseman Chris Tanev left with a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return. “Blocked a shot, couldn’t finish. So, fingers crossed,” DeBoer said. “Hopefully he’ll be good for the next game.” ... Benn extended his point streak to five games (two goals, six assists). ... Draisaitl's goal was his 10th of the playoffs. He is the fifth player in Oilers history to score at least 10 goals in consecutive postseasons. ... It was McDavid's 16th career three-point playoff game, tying Glenn Anderson for fifth in Oilers history.

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