Stars rally to even series with Ducks

Steve Hunt  - Correspondent | Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 2:28 AM

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff has been stressing the importance of secondary scoring throughout their Western Conference First Round series with the Anaheim Ducks.

In Game 4 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center, Dallas received goals from captain Jamie Benn, Vernon Fiddler, Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski in a 4-2 win that evened the best-of-7 series at 2-2.

Game 5 is Friday in Anaheim (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW).

"I really feel like we're in a playoff series now," Ruff said. "The first couple of games didn't feel like it, but now we feel like we have a playoff series."

After trailing 2-0 after one period on goals from Bryan Allen and Patrick Maroon, Dallas stormed back with second-period goals by Benn and Fiddler to make it a 2-2 game after 40 minutes. Eakin and Goligoski then scored 2:07 apart in the third.

Goligoski's goal at 7:44 of the third chased Anaheim rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen, who was replaced by Jonas Hiller. Andersen stopped 21 of 25 shots.

"After the second goal, I certainly did [think about pulling Andersen]," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "After they scored their second goal, I told [Hiller] to get ready because I didn't think [Andersen] was that sharp. In the third period when they got that goal [by Goligoski], I just thought it was time."

Benn had an empty-netter with 1:04 remaining in regulation nullified because the whistle had blown.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made 17 saves in his second straight victory. Fiddler (goal, assist) and Shawn Horcoff (two assists) each contributed two points for Dallas.

Despite being without captain Ryan Getzlaf, a late scratch with an upper-body injury, Anaheim struck twice in the first period. Allen scored his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the opening period, blasting a slapper top-shelf past Lehtonen at 12:17.

Allen's goal was his first since Feb. 28, 2012, when he scored against the Nashville Predators as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes, a span of 128 games. Lehtonen looked like he was at least partially screened by Stars rookie right wing Alex Chiasson on the play.

The Ducks made it 2-0 at 18:16 when a shot from Mathieu Perreault struck Maroon in the midsection and fluttered past Lehtonen.

Benn's unassisted goal 27 seconds into the period made it 2-1, and Dallas pulled even at 6:33 when Fiddler beat Andersen to the short side for his third career playoff goal. Andersen appeared to corral Fiddler's shot, but the puck struck the Ducks goaltender in the midsection before crossing the line.

"We had full control in the first period," Ducks center Andrew Cogliano said. "I thought some of the goals that we gave them they were just mistakes that we gave up. I feel that the goals that we gave them were self-inflicted for the most part and we couldn't recover."

Anaheim nearly retook the lead midway through the second, but a Perreault wrister from the right circle at 10:57 instead hit the right goal post.

The Stars were down to five healthy defensemen to begin the second period after rookie Patrik Nemeth sustained an injury. Nemeth did not return for the final two periods.

"[It's] just [his] upper body," Ruff said of Nemeth. "I would anticipate hopefully that he's back for the game in Anaheim."

Getzlaf's absence was felt by the Ducks in several areas.

"[We missed him] everywhere, he's one of the elite players in the NHL," Boudreau said. "You miss him in the offensive zone. You miss him on the boards. You miss him as a leader. You miss him in a lot of ways."

Benn's goal came when he won a faceoff against Perreault in the neutral zone and raced up the ice, beating Andersen top-shelf on the short side for his third goal of the playoffs.

Dallas outshot Anaheim 16-3 in the second period.

The Stars created a solid opportunity off the rush early in the third, but an Eakin wrister deflected hard off the far post 58 seconds into the period.

However, Eakin didn't miss on his next attempt; he beat Andersen to the far post with a wrist shot at 6:22 of the third to give Dallas its first lead of the game. It was Eakin's first career playoff goal.

Goligoski found the back of the net 2:07 later when he beat Andersen with a wrist shot from the slot. Fiddler made a solid backhand pass to Goligoski, who quickly finished to give Dallas a two-goal cushion.

"[That was a] great pass by Fiddler," Goligoski said. "Backhand soft pass with a one-goal lead in the third, gutsy play, but he plays the same way all the time."

Hiller made one save in relief of Andersen before leaving the ice with 1:44 remaining for an extra attacker.

Andersen knows if he gets the nod in Game 5 he needs to do one thing between now and Friday.

"[I need to have a] short memory. That's the only thing I need to do now," Andersen said. "Be ready for next game back in Anaheim and that's what I'm focusing on now."

Getzlaf wasn't the only high-profile absentee for Anaheim. Teemu Selanne was a healthy scratch, a decision Boudreau stands behind.

"It wasn't easy," Boudreau said. "I knew exactly what was going into it and I knew the reaction. And if I was a fan, I'd probably be upset too. He's an icon and one of the greatest players ever to play the game, but I just thought we're going to need a physical player along the boards today a little bit more. Emerson [Etem] fits that bill, so the decision was made."

With the series now tied, Ruff views it as a fresh start.

"It's starting from scratch," Ruff said. "We've got to win a game in Anaheim. We've got to be better. I've got to do a better job with the team."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
12:17ANA Bryan Allen (1) ASST: Cam Fowler (1), Andrew Cogliano (1) 1 - 0 ANA
18:16ANA Patrick Maroon (1) ASST: Mathieu Perreault (1) 2 - 0 ANA
2nd Period
00:27DAL Jamie Benn (3) ASST: NONE 2 - 1 ANA
06:33DAL Vernon Fiddler (1) ASST: Shawn Horcoff (3), Jordie Benn (2) 2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
06:22DAL Cody Eakin (1) ASST: Antoine Roussel (3), Kari Lehtonen (1) 3 - 2 DAL
07:44DAL Alex Goligoski (1) ASST: Vernon Fiddler (1), Shawn Horcoff (4) 4 - 2 DAL
Three Stars of the Game
Alex Goligoski
Alex Goligoski
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 4
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 32:48
Vernon Fiddler
Vernon Fiddler
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 10
+/-: 2TOI: 13:30
Cody Eakin
Cody Eakin
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 18:53
Penalty Summary
1st Period
06:39DAL Valeri Nichushkin  Hooking against  Cam Fowler
2nd Period
09:51DAL Kevin Connauton  Tripping against  Kyle Palmieri
13:40ANA Mark Fistric  Interference against  Ryan Garbutt
15:58ANA Bryan Allen  Cross checking against  Antoine Roussel
3rd Period
11:32DAL Ryan Garbutt  Hi-sticking against  Kyle Palmieri
14:59ANA Corey Perry  Boarding against  Cody Eakin
17:50ANA Patrick Maroon  Misconduct (10 min) against  Vernon Fiddler
17:50DAL Vernon Fiddler  Misconduct (10 min) against  Patrick Maroon
17:50DAL Antoine Roussel  Fighting (maj) against  Corey Perry
17:50ANA Corey Perry  Fighting (maj) against  Antoine Roussel
18:53DAL Trevor Daley  Misconduct (10 min) against  Kyle Palmieri
18:53ANA Kyle Palmieri  Misconduct (10 min) against  Trevor Daley
20:00DAL Ryan Garbutt  Roughing against  Bryan Allen
20:00ANA Bryan Allen  Misconduct (10 min)
20:00ANA Bryan Allen  Cross checking against  Cody Eakin
20:00ANA Bryan Allen  Roughing against  Chris Mueller
20:00ANA Mark Fistric  Roughing against  Cody Eakin
20:00DAL Jordie Benn  Roughing against  Mathieu Perreault
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/30/3
Faceoff Wins2938
Blocked Shots2217
Penalty Minutes4735
4C. FowlerD0102025:56
6B. LovejoyD00-11023:02
7A. CoglianoL01-21014:50
10C. PerryR00-13718:47
11S. KoivuC0000011:27
13N. BoninoC0000016:56
21K. PalmieriR00-111010:31
22M. PerreaultC01-12017:48
23F. BeaucheminD00-11027:14
28M. FistricD00-12413:08
33J. SilfverbergR0000013:50
34D. WinnikL0000016:23
47H. LindholmD00-10012:37
55B. AllenD10011619:27
62P. MaroonL10021016:38
65E. EtemR0005012:32
67R. RakellC00-10012:27
77D. Smith-PellyR0002012:18
1J. Hiller111.00010:34
31F. Andersen2125.84047:38
6T. DaleyD00121028:16
10S. HorcoffC0224016:15
12A. ChiassonR00-12014:03
13R. WhitneyL00-10010:00
14J. BennL1012021:11
16R. GarbuttC0001416:40
18C. MuellerC00-1004:26
20C. EakinC1002018:53
21A. RousselL0102516:15
22C. SceviourC0022014:12
23K. ConnautonD0000211:29
24J. BennD0130223:58
33A. GoligoskiD1021032:48
37P. NemethD00-1007:20
38V. FiddlerC11231013:30
43V. NichushkinR0010211:52
55S. GoncharD00-10013:03
91T. SeguinC0015019:49
32K. Lehtonen2123.91360:00