NHL Playoffs, Stars vs. Blues Game 4, 3-2: Full recap and highlights


The Dallas Stars  evened their series against the St. Louis Blues tonight in Game 3, winning 3-2 in OT.

Final. 2. 99. 3. 119

Certainly the first half of period one was based around cautious, measured play — perhaps in light of the end of Game 3, both teams realized that degenerating into animals on the ice would help no one. The Stars yet again failed to capitalize on a power play opportunity, putting them at 0-12 in the series.

While everyone on the ice paid close attention to the puck, no one gave any thought to Vladimir Tarasenko. Just over 10 minutes into Game 4, the young Blues phenom stole the puck on a breakaway. No Dallas player was anywhere near the crease—Kari Lehtonen, the starting goalie of the evening, was entirely left to fend for himself.

This was Tarasenko’s 40th goal of the season.

There were also six Stars on the ice when this happened, but the officials just let that slide…

The first period did, however, include two brilliant saves from Lehtonen on power plays. Was the first goal let in ridiculous? Yes. But perhaps that can just be considered his warm up.

The Stars entered the second period scoreless for 75:16 of play.

With 15:40 into the second, an awful turnover by St. Louis’ Joel Edmundson lead to a defenseless goal from Radek Faksa, which tied the game 1-1.

Almost immediately, Blues captain David Backes took the bench for tripping Mattias Janmark, giving the Stars a much-needed power play that they would finally use to their advantage. Patrick Sharp got a beautiful shot into the goal which assists by Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza.

By now, the Blues were getting antsy, unable to get a solid shot on goal. Finally, at 13:06, Paul Stastny scored for the Blues on a power play tip-in, with assistance from Tarasenko and Alexander Steen. The game was now tied, 2-2.

Period three began more in the fashion of the first. Neither team was willing to get too physical and hand a power play to the other. With the game still knotted as time ran out, the game moved into overtime. This is the first Stars road playoff OT since Game 5 of the second round at San Jose on May 2, 2008.

At 2:58 of OT, Cody Eakin saved the day — and the series — for the Stars. Set up by Benn and Sharp, the forward scored his first goal of the playoffs, ending Game 4 3-2 in OT.

Three Stars

G Kari Lehtonen (STARS)
Lehtonen was brilliant for the Stars, and they sure needed him to be. Primo shots on goal came his way, and he managed to stop all but two. He made 24 saves, earning a .923 save percentage.

C Cody Eakin (STARS)
The forward scored his first playoff goal, Dallas’ game-winning third goal in OT.

C Paul Stastny (BLUES)
In addition to scoring a goal (which tied the game), he had a game-high 6 chances.


Before Tarasenko even turned the puck over in period one, the Stars completely messed up a basic line change. Only Antoine Roussel and Radek Faksa came off the ice, but three Stars forwards jumped on. The last man on the ice was Travis Moen, who clearly did not realize that there were already five Stars on the ice. (But even six Stars can’t figure out how to properly defend their side of the ice…)

Maybe the officials missed it, maybe they subconsiously had some sympathy for Dallas…We will never know, but we DO know that a whistle definitely should have been called, a penalty definitely should have been delivered.

Next Game

The series returns to the Dallas American Airlines Center on Saturday for Game 5 on Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 PM ET on NBC Sports Network.

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