Game 4: Stars 4, Ducks 2

Cody Eakin's goal in the third period put the Stars ahead and ultimately the win in Game 4. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
Cody Eakin’s goal in the third period put the Stars ahead for the win in Game 4. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By Martin Iheke

The Dallas Stars defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2, to even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece. So far, the home team has taken care of business in their barn.

First Period
The Ducks came out aggressive taking away the middle of the ice and neutralizing the speed of the Stars. Their forecheck came into play that resulted in two goals by Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen and forward Patrick Maroon. The Ducks finished the period with eleven shots to the Stars’ seven. The Ducks had one power play, but did not capitalize.

Second Period
The Stars did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard to start the period as Captain Jamie Benn scored within the first minute to cut the Ducks lead in half, 2-1. Not too long after that Stars forward Vernon Fiddler would tie it up, 2-2, thanks to their ability to finally be able to utilize their speed. The Stars had sixteen shots to the Ducks’ three. The Stars could not score on either of their two power plays while the Ducks could not score on their lone one.

Third Period
The start of the period would go back and forth until Stars forward Cody Eakin would score to give his team the lead for the first time, 3-2. Not long after that, Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski decided to join the party with a goal to put the Stars up, 4-2. The Stars had three shots to the Ducks’ nine. The Ducks did not score on their lone power play.

Stars’ Players Reaction

Defenseman Alex Goligoski on the team’s resiliency
“All year we’ve been good at putting stuff behind us. When things haven’t gone well, we’ve been able to put periods behind us. Tonight, we stuck with the plan. We kept going, getting in their zone and it paid off.”

Captain Jamie Benn on the importance of scoring the first goal for the Stars
“Obviously, we didn’t have the start we wanted in the first. We came in here and regrouped as a team and came out in the second much better.”

Head Coach Lindy Ruff on what he said to his team after the first period
“I said that I wasn’t happy. I thought we got outworked, weren’t playing smart enough, it was our turn to answer and I think that group in there answered the bell. It’s not often that we get outworked, but I thought there were situations where some of it was smarts and getting outworked. After that, the last 40 was as hard as the boys could go. They emptied the tank.”

Quick Thoughts
The Stars showed a lot of resiliency coming back to take Game 4 after trailing 2-0 to start the second period. It should not be a surprise considering this team has done it all season long. You have to wonder about the mindset of the Ducks now. They grab a lead and the Stars have shown the ability that they can come back. The start to Game 5 will be very interesting to see which way this series will swing now that it is a best-of-three. Ducks forward Ryan Getzalf was scratched before the game due to an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Stars defenseman Patrik Nemeth left at the end of the first period due to an injury but Ruff said he could play in Game 5 which is Friday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Series to Date:
Game 1: Ducks 4 Stars 3 – Ducks Lead 1-0
Game 2: Ducks 3 Stars 2 – Ducks Lead 2-0
Game 3: Stars 3 Ducks 0 – Ducks Lead 2-1
Game 4: Stars 4 Ducks 2 – Series Even 2-2

Upcoming Schedule
4/25 Stars vs Ducks   9:30pm
4/27 Ducks vs Stars   TBD
4/29 Stars vs Ducks   TBD         *If Necessary