Recap: The Stars Come Back Big to Tie Up the St. Louis Series in OT

Round 2 is now a three-game series, and the Stars have home ice for two of them. Kisses!

After six unanswered goals and a humiliating loss in the St. Louis Blues' building in Game 3, the Dallas Stars needed to play Game 4 like their season was on the line.

So what did they do? They broke a power-play drought. They broke an overtime drought. Their best players showed up in a big way. And Kari was KariKariKari.

First period

The game was goal-less for more than 10 minutes, but Vladimir Tarasenko opened the scoring with a breakaway from the blue line on Kari Lehtonen.

Fortunately, Lehts pulled off a few saves like this to make sure the Blues didn't get another chance in the first frame.

Bad news, good news: The Stars couldn't convert on the first penalty of the game – a Jay Bouwmeester high stick on Jamie Benn at 3:57 – but they made good work of killing a late-period penalty Cody Eakin took for a holding call on Alexander Steen.

Score at intermission: Stars 0 – Blues 1

Second period

Were you shocked but not surprised to see Radek Faksa draw first blood for Dallas, four minutes into the frame? StarFaksa walked in all alone to collect this forehead-slapper of a giveaway by Joel Edmundson and knock it right in.

Finally, the Stars power play came up aces, and Our Gang took a 2-1 lead thanks to Patrick Sharp and his net-front presence (plus some sweet, sweet assistance from Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza).

Alas, Kris Russell and David Backes headed to the box for mutual slashing, and Eakin sat down for slashing on Jaden Schwartz a little more than a minute later. The resulting four-on-three gave Paul Stastny the opportunity to even the score with an assist from The Tank.

Bad news, good news: The team let the Blues back in, but after allowing they also managed to hold their own during about five weird minutes of overlapping penalties (after Alex Goligoski got called for hooking Patrik Berglund, followed in short order by Steen interfering with Faksa). Both teams were probably fortunate merely to hold the game down at that point.

Note: Moments before the end of the period, Razor commented that this game "smell[ed] like overtime." You can thank him for it, obviously.

Score at intermission: Stars 2 – Blues 2

Third period

This was the frame in which Valeri Nichushkin started throwing his weight around, literally. Big Val shot, he hit, he moved the puck like a boss. Basically, he did everything but score, in part because of uncalled interference.

The Stars demonstrated the return of their possession and transition game, but it didn't make much difference in regulation. However, they did hold off the Notes to take the game into OT.

Score at end of regulation: Stars 2 – Blues 2


Well, that didn't take long, did it. Less than three minutes into the bonus period, the Ginger Ninja put it away, as even @NHL had to (almost grudgingly) admit.

There was plenty of redemption to go around tonight:

  • With 24 saves, some of them mastodonic indeed, Kari kept Our Gang in the mix throughout. This was the performance of a No. 1 goalie.
  • Eakin's GWG was the biggest "all is forgiven" moment of the past...ever, maybe. Let's see how long this Era of Good Feelings lasts.
  • Need your best players to be your best players? How about Sharpie, Jamie and Speznasty breaking that power-play drought. Can you dig it? I knew thatcha could.

Game 5 is Saturday at noon Central time. In American Airlines Center. Welcome home, heroes.