All of the scoring came in one period, and the Dallas Stars notched two of their goals on the power-play en route to beating the Minnesota Wild 3-2 and taking a 3-1 series lead.
“You won’t win a lot of games when you lose the special teams battle,” Jason Pominville, whose team did not score on three power-play opportunities, told the Pioneer Press. “And we lost it tonight.”
The Wild penalty kill was 0-2 on the night, and had to operate almost immediately after Minnesota took leads.
Pominville scored first for Minnesota, then Ales Hemsky scored on the power-play four minutes later when Ryan Suter stepped out of his shooting lane. Charlie Coyle scored on a breakaway a minute later, but Patrick Eaves scored on the power-play three minutes later.
Jason Spezza netted the eventual game-winner late in the period after a Jason Demers pass deflected off his skate and into the net on the rush.
Both Wild penalties that led to Dallas goals were undisciplined. Matt Dumba got a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass from his own zone, and Nino Niederreiter took a slashing penalty.
“We can’t take those penalties,” Torchetti told the Pioneer Press. “We have to process the game better.”
Game 5 will be in Dallas. Teams that hold a 3-1 lead own an all-time series record of 255-28 (90.1 percent) in the NHL, according to the Star Tribune. The Wild rallied from a pair of 3-1 deficits in 2003.
“We are best when our backs are against the wall. They’re definitely against the wall now,” Suter told the media after the game. “We have to come out with that same intensity, that same urgency, and stay out of the box.”[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]