DALLAS – Rasmus Andersson scored Calgary’s first power-play goal since early in the playoff opener, Jacob Markstrom had 34 saves and the Flames beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 in Game 4 on Monday night to even their first-round series.
Johnny Gaudreau converted a penalty shot with 12:13 left in the game to make it 2-0 Calgary, and later assisted on Elias Lindholm’s third goal of the series as the Pacific Division champions regained home-ice advantage over the wild-card Stars. Mikael Backlund added an empty-netter in the final minute.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Calgary, where the teams traded shutouts in the first two games while combining for only three total goals — one of those an empty-netter at the end of the Stars’ 2-0 win in Game 2. The series returns to Dallas on Friday night for the sixth game in the best-of-seven series.
Gaudreau was on a breakaway with just over nine minutes left when John Klingberg was penalized for hooking, and the 100-point scorer had a nifty move on the penalty shot to push the puck through the legs of Jake Oettinger, the 23-year-old goalie who had 50 saves.
The Flames were just more than a minute into a 5-on-3 opportunity midway through the second period when Andersson traded passes with Matthew Tkachuk before his shot from the top of the slot made it 1-0.
Calgary had failed to convert on 13 consecutive power-play attempts before that, including two earlier in the game, since scoring five seconds into their first power play of the series. That was five minutes into Game 1, and the only goal in that 1-0 win.
Before Calgary had a two-man advantage, that power play opened on a split save by Oettinger, who had his right leg fully extended against the post when he pushed away a shot by Anderson.
The Stars have also struggled on the power play, going 0 for 4 with a man advantage in Game 4 before Tyler Seguin scored with 4:57 left to get the Stars within 3-1.
Oettinger has faced plenty of shots in his first four NHL playoff starts. He had 25 saves in the opener, 29 in his shutout win and then 39 more in Game 3.
Midway through the first period Monday, after being peppered with a sequence of shots and unable to secure a loose puck, Oettinger made a impressive save when he reached back while falling down to snag the puck with his glove to deny Tyler Toffoli.
That was only a couple of minutes after Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen hit the crossbar with a shot.
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