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Stars beat Oilers 3-1 to even Western Conference final 1-1

Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman, bottom center, loses his helmet on a shot as Oilers' Connor McDavid, top left, and Dallas Stars' Logan Stankoven (11) scuffle at the net during the second period in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman, bottom center, loses his helmet on a shot as Oilers' Connor McDavid, top left, and Dallas Stars' Logan Stankoven (11) scuffle at the net during the second period in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Mason Marchment scored the winner early in the third period as the Dallas Stars beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Saturday to even the NHL's Western Conference final 1-1.

Jamie Benn, with a goal and an assist, and Esa Lindell, into an empty net, provided the rest of the offence for Dallas. Jake Oettinger stopped 28 shots for the Stars, who were without No. 1 centre Roope Hintz for a fourth straight playoff game with a lower-body injury.

Connor Brown replied for Edmonton, which got 22 saves from Stuart Skinner.

The Stars lost their seventh straight Game 1 on Thursday, but have rebounded with a Game 2 victory in five of those matchups.

The best-of-seven series shifts to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 beginning Monday.

Marchment snapped a 1-1 tie at 3:41 of the third when he tipped a knuckling Ryan Suter point shot through the legs of Oilers defenceman Vincent Desharnais and past Skinner for his second goal of the post-season.

The breakthrough came shortly after Stars rookie Logan Stankoven sent a puck through Edmonton's crease with Skinner down and out.

Mattias Ekholm had a couple chances late in the third, but Oettinger was there both times to deny the Oilers blueliner before Lindell scored his second into an empty net with 2:03 remaining in regulation.

Dallas opened the scoring at 3:39 of the first when Benn fired his fourth off a 2-on-1 on the Stars' first shot.

Edmonton responded just 44 seconds later when Connor Brown slid a rebound past Oettinger for his second-career playoff goal — and first since April 2018 when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Skinner made a couple of big stops later in the period despite the Oilers holding a 16-4 shot advantage through 20 minutes, denying Wyatt Johnson and two chances off the stick of Tyler Seguin.

Skinner made another huge save on Evgenii Dadonov six minutes into the second as the Stars came with a push before the Oilers killed off their 20th straight penalty to improve to an outstanding 38-for-41 in these playoffs.

Oettinger made a good stop on a Mattias Janmark wraparound chance to keep the score at 1-1 through 40 minutes before Marchment nudged Dallas ahead to even the series.

TAKING IT IN

Travis Kelce of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs watched the game from a private suite along with professional golfer Bryson DeChambeau and former Major League Baseball pitcher Cole Hamels. Kelce was booed by some of the crowd at American Airlines Center when shown on the big screen in the second period.

FAKSA OUT

Dallas forward Radek Faksa (undisclosed) was scratched. Ty Dellandrea took his spot in the lineup.

HENRIQUE SITS AGAIN

The Oilers were once again without veteran forward Adam Henrique, who has played just once since suffering a suspected ankle injury in Game 5 of his team's first-round series.

Edmonton head coach Kris Knoblauch said the trade-deadline acquisition was "98 per cent" on Friday, but didn't commit to him returning to the lineup.

"A lot of experience," Oilers centre Leon Draisaitl said following the morning skate. "Very smart hockey player, really a guy that you can put in any position in our lineup and he'll be adding a lot.

"We're looking forward to getting him back."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2024. 

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