Oilers Turn the Tide, Overcome Stars to Tie Series 2-2

Oilers rally over Stars in Game 4

The Edmonton Oilers flipped the script Wednesday night and may have altered the series’ trajectory. After a rough seven minutes, they rallied to win Game 4 with a 5-2 score at Rogers Place, tying the series 2-2. This result shifts momentum heading into Game 5 in Dallas on Friday, creating a new dynamic in the Western Conference Final.

“It’s two good teams playing, and no one is going to lay down,” said Stars forward Joe Pavelski. “You have teams that can make plays both ways, and this shows just how fine of a line it is. It comes down to a few plays throughout the night.”

Dallas excelled early, with goals from Wyatt Johnston and Esa Lindell putting them ahead 2-0. Johnston’s impressive effort came just 58 seconds into the game, and Lindell’s shot, deflected off Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse, doubled the lead four minutes later.

The Stars seemed poised for victory, reminiscent of their performance against Colorado, but Edmonton had other plans. Five minutes after Lindell’s goal, chaos in front of the net caused by Nurse and Corey Perry led to Ryan McLeod scoring his first playoff goal, breathing life into the Oilers. Connor McDavid’s shot, rebounding off Jake Oettinger’s pads, set up Evan Bouchard’s sixth playoff goal, tying the game.

Despite a balanced 29-22 shots on goal and 59-50 shot attempts, the Oilers’ dominance was evident. Stars coach Pete DeBoer acknowledged this, stating, “We got up 2-0, got the start we wanted, but I don’t think we had enough guys playing at a high level. The rest of the game, they were the better team. That’s the bottom line.”

Ryan Suter and Thomas Harley struggled defensively, while Mason Marchment ended the game with a minus-3 rating. Dallas had a golden power-play opportunity late in the second period, but the Oilers’ penalty kill thwarted them. A shorthanded two-on-one resulted in former Stars winger Mattias Janmark scoring the game-winning goal.

ALSO READ:Ricky Ponting’s Predictions for T20 World Cup 2024: Top Run-Scorer and Wicket-Taker

“That was kind of a kick in the butt,” Benn said. “Their PK is good, they put a lot of pressure on you and we’re going to have to find a way to be a little creative here and try to break them down.”

Leon Draisaitl’s goal shortly after sealed Dallas’ fate, with an empty-netter finalizing the score. Edmonton now carries significant momentum back to Texas.

“We came here and got a split, we got home ice back,” DeBoer said. “It’s two out of three to go to the Stanley Cup Final. This isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s not supposed to be pretty. You’ve got the four best teams in the league left and that’s what it’s going to look like. You’ve got to find a way to come out on top, even if it takes seven games and overtime.”

Dallas lost Chris Tanev to an injury in the second period, but DeBoer remains hopeful about his return for Game 5. If Tanev is unable to play, the Stars may rely on their depth, with options like Nils Lundkvist, Derrick Pouliot, and Lian Bichsel available.

“He’s one of the ultimate warriors in this league,” Benn said. “It’s unbelievable to have him on our side now. I’ve played against him for a long time. He’s a true professional. He plays the game hard.”

As DeBoer emphasized, it’s “next man up” time for the Stars as they head into a crucial Game 5.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top