ST. PAUL, Minn. — Tyler Seguin scored two power-play goals and Jake Oettinger made 33 saves in a brilliant show in his home state to help the Dallas Stars bounce back from a lopsided loss and beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in Game 4 on Sunday night to even their first-round NHL playoff series.
Evgenii Dadonov gave the Stars a two-score lead early in the third period just 8 seconds after escaping the penalty box, his third goal of the series. John Klingberg scored for the Wild less than three minutes later against his former team right after a goal-line block on the other end.
Both of Seguin’s goals followed questionable penalties on Minnesota’s feisty right wing Marcus Foligno, who was called for tripping with 4:49 remaining before Seguin delivered his third goal of the series.
Frederick Gaudreau gave the Wild another opening on his power-play goal with 1:20 left, but Oettinger didn’t budge. He finished off another golden playoff performance by getting a glove on Marcus Johansson’s close-range slap shot from the right circle with 12 seconds left as the Wild bench winced with disappointment.
The Central Division foes will relocate for Game 5 in Dallas on Tuesday night.
The Wild played again without top center Joel Eriksson Ek, their third-leading scorer and truest two-way player, with a lower-body injury that has limited him to just one shift in the series. They sure could’ve used his stick and strength around the goal to knock in a rebound against Oettinger, the unflappable young goalie who grew up in Lakeville about a half-hour drive from downtown St. Paul.
The Wild created plenty of prime chances with their attack, but their passing game was just a bit off. Foligno was denied twice on one breakaway, the rebound try deflected by Oettinger’s pad. Wild star Kirill Kaprizov, who scored in Game 1 but has been hounded and pounded by the Stars all series, had a breakaway shot brushed aside by Oettinger, too.
The 24-year-old Oettinger made a postseason name for himself a year ago with a 64-save effort in the Game 7 overtime loss to Calgary.
Foligno was whistled for interference behind his own net late in the second period, a call that had the crowd and the Wild bench howling. The Stars seized their opening, when Seguin knocked a slow-sliding puck between Filip Gustavsson’s pads after an initial shot by Roope Hintz with Jared Spurgeon trying to push him out.
Gustavsson made 21 saves for the Wild, who beat the Stars 5-1 in Game 3 to regain their leverage after a 7-3 loss in Game 2 with Marc-Andre Fleury in goal. The Wild won the opener 2-1 in double overtime.
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