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Flames pepper Oettinger, battle back to even series against Stars with 4-1 win

The Flames nearly fired a shot-a-minute at the Stars goalie.
Credit: AP
Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) scores on a penalty shot on Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) in the third period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS — Series tied.

The Calgary Flames scored two of their three goals after Dallas Stars penalties, en route to a 4-1 win in Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series and evening the series 2-2.

Game 5 will be Wednesday night in Calgary.

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau knifed across the face of Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger, and went to the back hand to pot it between Oettinger’s legs, to give the Flames a 2-0 lead with 12:13 left to play in the 3rd period.  

Gaudreau had drawn a hooking penalty on John Klingberg on a breakaway, moments before.

A Flames 5-on-3 power play midway through the second period led to the game’s first goal, as Rasmus Andersson scored on a slap shot from the right point, 1:17 into the two-man advantage. Matthew Tkachuk and Tyler Toffoli assisted on the goal.

With 8:07 left in the third, the Flames added a third tally, as Elias Lindholm sent the 50th Flames shot of the night past Oettinger.

The Flames outshot Dallas 54-35, blocked 13 more shots than the Stars did (25-12), and won 56 percent of the face-offs.

"They were really good. We were really bad," Stars head coach Rick Bowness said.

"We just have to reset," Stars defenseman Ryan Suter said. "We had the momentum. Now they've got it. Now we've got to go get it back."

Stars captain Jamie Benn got into a late scrap with the Flames' Mikael Backlund, leading to a Stars power play. Dallas emptied their net to play with a two-attacker advantage, and it paid off as Tyler Seguin found the top right corner to give Dallas their only goal of the night with 4:57 left in the third. 

Dallas would get another power play in the closing three minutes, as Backlund was called for a holding penalty on Joe Pavelski. A shot from Jason Robertson would go just over the net, past Markstrom, but hit off the top of the cage. The Stars would wind up empty on the power play, and ran out of time with their comeback attempt.

An empty netter from Backlund would establish the final margin.

Oettinger saved 50 of the 53 Flames shots he faced, allowing just one Flames goal through the first two periods, to keep Dallas in the game.

"Listen, he's the only reason we were in the game," Bowness said. "I told the coaches, we just wasted a great goaltending performance... Otter was outstanding."

The Stars were called for an early penalty in the first period, as Vladislav Namestnikov was whistled for an illegal check to the head. Upon replay, the hit certainly appeared to be shoulder-to-shoulder.  The Flames had the first Power Play of the night, but netted little in the way of threatening chances against the Stars. Dallas had a chance at a shorthanded goal, after a beautiful move by Michael Raffl, but the shot from Luke Glendening was blockered away by Markstrom.

Gaudreau would leave the ice for a portion of the first period, to be evaluated. But he would return before the end of the first.

The Flames tallied 11 of the first 13 shots of the game, with their 11th shot of the night yielding a remarkable, sprawling save by Jake Oettinger, to keep the game scoreless. Tyler Toffoli had a yawning cage waiting for a puck, and Oettinger snagged it with his glove.

The Stars first power play of the night came with 7:26 left in the opening period, as Noah Hanifin was whistled for holding. But the Stars were ineffective, failing to record a shot on goal on the power play.

Shortly after the power play, Radek Faksa had a promising chance as he knifed in front of the cage, but Markstrom was able to deter him.

The Flames outshot Dallas 19-8 in the opening period, but Oettinger was up to the task each time, leading to a scoreless first.

The second period started with another quick Dallas penalty, as captain Jamie Benn was called for tripping, just 26 seconds into the frame. The Stars were able to kill off that penalty, but not the 5-on-3 that would follow.