Instant Reaction: Oilers tie series with comeback win over Stars in Game 4

Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
22 days ago
Just like that, this series is heading back to Dallas with the two tied at two games each, as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Dallas Stars 5-2 in Game 4. We have ourselves a best-of-three. 
For only the fourth time in 16 postseason games this season, the Oilers allowed the first goal, as the Stars defenceman flipped an area pass over the head of Kulak, finding Wyatt Johnston in a 2-on-1 scenario. He made no mistake beating Skinner above the glove for the opening goal.
It went from bad to worse shortly after, as a shot from the point bounced off Darnell Nurse’s backside and beat Skinner short-side to give Dallas a 2-0 lead. Despite this happening so early on and many fans groaning as a result, Nurse had a strong game.
Commence the comeback though, as the recently re-inserted Ryan McLeod scored his first goal of this postseason and his first postseason goal since the 2022 playoffs. He took advantage of a loose rebound, elevating the puck over Jake Oettinger. Good play by Nurse here as well to interfere with the defender.
Edmonton tied it last in the first period, as Connor McDavid shot for a rebound, with the rebound finding Evan Bouchard alone on the defender’s other side. It was 2-2 heading into the first intermission.
Late in the second period, a three-on-one developed on a Stars power play, with Connor Brown finding Mattias Janmark on a cross-ice pass to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead. More about Brown, Janmark, and the penalty kill in “things worth mentioning.”
After that penalty ended, the Oilers loaded up with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and after a nice little give-and-go with Zach Hyman, Draisaitl scored his 10th goal of the postseason to give Edmonton a 4-2 lead.
The Oilers iced the game late in the third with a Mattias Ekholm snipe from his own end into the empty net. The game ended 5-2, and the Oilers need just two more wins to move to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2006.

Things worth mentioning…

The penalty kill has been incredible. After the Vancouver Canucks series, the Oilers killed off 36 of 39 penalty kills. So far, they’ve faced nine Stars’ power plays, killing all of them off to go 45/48 on the penalty kill in these playoffs, or 93.8%. They’ve now killed off 23 straight penalty kills and are one of just two teams to have a streak of two 6+ games of no power-play goals allowed in the postseason.
Leon Draisaitl became the first Oiler since Esa Tikkanen to score 10 goals in back-to-back postseasons. Tikkanen did so in 1990 and 1991, so yeah, it’s been a hot minute.
Let’s talk about that hit from behind. Before Mattias Ekholm’s empty-net goal, Evan Bouchard was in the corner and looked to initiate a board battle to kill the clock. Instead of doing the right thing and trying to win it, Robertson hit him from behind in the numbers. Yes, Bouchard turned, but Robertson had ample time to not hit from behind and still chose to do it.
The longest active point streak for the Oilers belongs to… Connor Brown? What? Yep, he scored Edmonton’s only goal in Game 2, got an assist on Adam Henrique’s goal in Game 3, and picked up an assist on Mattias Janmark’s second goal of the postseason on Wednesday.
That fourth line has really been impressive since coming together. Mainly Brown and Janmark, who through the eye test, have been out chancing teams since playing together. You can take either Derek Ryan or Sam Carrick in the centre role, but that fourth line has been awesome.
It was a new-look third line, as Evander Kane and Dylan Holloway dropped to play alongside Adam Henrique. That will surely help the scoring, but playing Draisaitl alongside Corey Perry and Ryan McLeod also helps, as McLeod found the back of the net in tonight’s game.
Up next: The Oilers will return to Edmonton for Game 6, but first is a stop in the Big D as they’ll play Game 5 at 6:30 PM MT on Friday. Let’s go Oilers!

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