Dallas Stars

Stars even series with first period surge that leaves Predators spinning

The Dallas Stars and their coach said all the right things after Monday’s demoralizing Game 3 loss.

Wednesday night in Game 4 of their best-of-seven playoff series against the Nashville Predators, they followed it up by doing everything right on the ice.

The Stars blew out the Predators 5-1 at American Airlines Center to even the series 2-2 in convincing fashion.

Dallas scored four times in the first period, tying a franchise playoff record for goal in a period since moving from Minnesota in 1993. Three of the goals came on three of four power plays.

It’s the first time the Stars have scored three power play goals in a period since moving to Dallas. The last time the Stars scored four goals in a playoff period was April 27, 2008 in the third period against San Jose. It’s Dallas’ first home playoff win since April 29, 2016.

The series returns to Nashville for Game 5 at 2 p.m. Saturday. Game 6 is Monday night at the AAC at a time to be determined. Game 7, if necessary, moves back to Nashville on Wednesday.

Roope Hintz got the scoring started less than four minutes into the game (and 41 seconds into the first power play) on an assists from John Klingberg and Tyler Seguin. Just over two minutes later, Alexander Radulov made it 2-0 with another power play goal on an assist from Esa Lindell.

Goals by Andrew Cogliano and Matz Zuccarello rounded out the first-period scoring.

“I thought our first power play set the tone,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said.

Dallas didn’t have a first period goal in the first three games of the series. And they snapped an 0 for 11 stretch on the power play since Game 1. In the first three games, the Stars were 1 for 13 on the power play.

Hintz pushed the lead to 5-0 halfway through the second period on Klingberg’s third assist of the night.

The Stars had six total goals combined in the first three games of the series.

Game 4 was Pekka Rinne’s night to struggle, although none of the Stars’ first four goals were soft scores.

Stars goalie Ben Bishop barely had to break a sweat, especially in the first period. Nashville had 10 shots on goal in the opening period but none were particularly close calls.

“The guys in front of me did a great job getting that lead in the first 15 minutes and made it a little easier on me,” Bishop said. “I thought everybody from top to bottom played a great game and did all of the small things it takes to win.”

The Predators threatened the Stars’ net very little the entire night. Their lone goal from Roman Josi came with 11:49 left in the third period.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.