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Oilers rally to beat Stars, tie Western Conference Final

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With the Edmonton Oilers shut out and down two goals late in the first period of Game 4 Wednesday night, spectators at Rogers Place were quiet, seemingly bewildered at the early, quick scoring of the Dallas Stars and the slow start by the home team.

Ryan McLeod's marker with six-and-a-half minutes in the opening frame left changed all that.

The Oilers forward, who returned to the lineup after being scratched the previous game, scored off the rebound of a shot by Corey Perry to make the score 2-1 to give his team, and the crowd, life.

McLeod's goal and Perry's assist were the first points of the playoffs for both forwards.

Less than three minutes later, defenceman Evan Bouchard swatted in a rebound off a Connor McDavid shot, sending the two sides to their dressing rooms with a tie game.

The Oilers came close to closing out the first period with a third goal while on the power play when a McDavid redirection bounced off Stars goalie Jake Oettinger's stick — which had been knocked away from him — lying on the goal line.

In a second period dominated by Edmonton, Mattias Janmark put the Oilers ahead 3-2 with a shorthanded goal, followed less than a minute later by a goal from Leon Draisaitl, who hadn't registered a point since Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

With the Stars pressing immediately following the 4-2 goal, Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner made one of his several key saves, robbing Evgenii Dadonov of a chance on his doorstep, sticking his pad out to turn away the Stars forward's shot.

Another notable Skinner stop came with the Stars on the power play, when he swatted away a shot from the slot by Dallas captain Jamie Benn with 7:07 left in the game.

Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm added an empty-net goal to cap the scoring, finding the net from the corner in the Oilers zone.

The 5-2 Oilers win tied the best-of-seven Western Conference Final at two games each.

Skinner made 20 saves in the Oilers' win while McDavid added two assists.

Wyatt Johnston and Esa Lindell tallied for the Stars, Benn assisting on both.

The series shifts to Dallas for Game 5 on Friday, with Game 6 back in Edmonton on Sunday.

The Oilers made three lineup changes for Wednesday's Game 4, inserting forwards Perry and McLeod and defenceman Philip Broberg. Defenceman Vincent Desharnais and forwards Warren Foegele and Sam Carrick were scratched as a result.

It was Broberg's first action of the playoffs this season. The 22-year-old Swede, taken eighth overall by Edmonton in the 2019 NHL Draft, scored two assists in 12 regular-season games and played most of 2023-24 with the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors.

Both Perry and McLeod started Game 4 on a line alongside star centre Leon Draisaitl, while Broberg was paired with Cody Ceci on defence.

Perry returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the last five games.

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