SEATTLE (AP) — Joe Pavelski, Max Domi and Miro Heiskanen refused to let the Dallas Stars have two straight dud performances.
“This team doesn’t have two bad games in a row,” Domi said. “We showed that tonight.”
Pavelski scored his sixth goal of the series as part of a four-goal second period for Dallas and the Stars routed the Seattle Kraken 6-3 on Tuesday night in Game 4 to even the Western Conference semifinal series.
After a pair of tight games in Dallas to open the series, Games 3 and 4 in Seattle were blowouts. The Kraken rolled to a 7-2 win in Game 3 and the Stars responded with their best performance of the series in a dominant Game 4 victory. Game 5 is Thursday night in Dallas.
“We weren’t ready to play in in Game 3,” said Heiskanen, who returned from a nasty facial cut on his left cheek that knocked him out of Game 3. “Tonight was whole different story and we had a real good effort at the beginning, got the goals, played well.”
Pavelski scored four goals in the series opener, added a fifth in Game 2 and gave the Stars a 4-0 lead midway through the second period of Game 4.
Pavelski’s goal came on a power play after Seattle and challenged for goaltender interference on Domi’s second goal of the playoffs that gave Dallas a 3-0 lead. The challenge failed and Pavelski made Seattle pay on the ensuing power play.
Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said he felt goalie Philipp Grubauer had been bumped twice by Jamie Benn and led to his decision to challenge.
“I have no idea what the hell goalie interference is anymore,” Seattle forward Jared McCann said. “I really don’t. I don’t think anybody does in this league.”
Pavelski’s goal was his 70th career playoff goal, tying him with Steve Yzerman for 19th place. The only active players with more playoff goals are Alex Ovechkin (72) and Sidney Crosby (71).
Benn scored late in the first period to give Dallas the early advantage, just his third goal in his past 23 playoff games, and defenseman Thomas Harley made it 2-0 early in the second period. Harley had one career goal in 40 regular-season games, but beat Grubauer high on the stick side.
Roope Hintz capped Dallas’ big second-period outburst with his sixth of the playoffs at 19:07 of the period.
“We were better everywhere than we were the game before and I think that was the goal,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “When we’re playing well, that’s what we look like. We’re not giving up much, we’re putting pressure on the other team. We fixed a lot of things.”
Seattle’s Jaden Schwartz scored late in the second period to cut it to 4-1 and added a second goal early in the third period. Adam Larsson scored with 4:11 remaining to pull Seattle to 5-3 after Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger had made several key saves earlier in the third period.
Domi scored an empty-net goal with 2:21 left for the Stars.
“We didn’t get to our game until the third period. They had a higher desperation to start the game,” Schwartz said.
Oettinger, who was pulled after allowing five goals on 17 shots in Game 3, had quiet first two periods before some key stops in the third, and finished with 16 saves.
Meanwhile, Grubauer was peppered by Dallas chances from the very start and the damage from the Stars could have been far worse. Grubauer finished with 17 saves on 22 shots and was replaced by Martin Jones for the third period.
Dallas got a boost with the return Heiskanen after he left early in the second period of Game 3 when a puck hit him in the face. Heiskanen had two assists and played 31:02.
“I felt pretty good out there. It didn’t bother me. I felt pretty normal,” Heiskanen said. “It was a nice thing to get minutes up again.”
Seattle didn’t get the same boost from the return of McCann after he missed the previous six playoff games due to injury. McCann was hurt on a late hit from Colorado’s Cale Makar early in Game 4 of the opening round series.
McCann played 13:11.
Dallas’ Mason Marchment was shaken up on a hit in the first period and played just three shifts. The Stars were also down defenseman Jani Hakanpää and forward Ty Dellandrea. Hakanpää was out with a lower body injury, while Dellandrea was ill and did not participate in morning skate. Seattle was without Daniel Sprong (upper body) after he was injured midway through the second period of Game 3. Hakstol said Sprong was day-to-day.
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