(The Sports Xchanges) - St. Louis captain David Backes scored a power-play goal 10:58 into overtime as the Blues edged the Dallas Stars 4-3 in Game 2 to square the second-round playoff series on Sunday at American Airlines Center.
Stars goaltender Antti Niemi, who stopped 19 of 20 shots in relief of starter Kari Lehtonen, denied the initial shot by Alex Steen, but Backes tapped in the rebound to end the game.
“We got this series tied back up,” Backes said. “Got one in their building, and now we need to go home and play solid hockey for 60 minutes and really start to establish our game.”
St. Louis were 17 seconds into a power play resulting from an interference call on Antoine Roussel 10:41 into overtime.
“I don’t know (if the referee made the right call),” Roussel said. “They have a tough job. It’s not easy to be a ref out there.”
Robby Fabbri and Kevin Shattenirk each had two assists for the Blues. Brian Elliott stopped 31 of 34 shots.
Game 3 in the best-of-7 series is on Tuesday in St. Louis.
“The second period was the best we’ve played all playoffs,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.
“We did everything we wanted to do, we played a heck of a period and then we played the score, and that’s the wrong thing you can do against Dallas; they’re too good.”
Dallas captain Jamie Benn scored the game-tying goal with 2:36 remaining in regulation.
Benn, who also had an assist, scored after a Kris Russell shot deflected off Cody Eakin, who had three assists.
Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist during regulation for St. Louis, who also got goals from Patrik Berglund and Joel Edmundson.
St. Louis scored on their first two shots and on three of five first-period shots.
Alex Goligoski and Mattias Janmark also scored in regulation for Dallas.
Janmark cut the Blues’ lead to 3-2 with his first career playoff goal 4:35 into the third, scoring off a wrist shot from the slot that beat Elliott through the five hole.
The game was delayed several minutes early in the third after a Jason Spezza slap shot struck Elliott in the head. But after Elliott’s broken facemask was repaired, he remained in the game.
Dallas took an early lead when Goligoski one-timed a slap shot past Elliott 3:36 into the game. Benn fed Goligoski with a backhand pass from behind the St. Louis goal. Goligoski then beat Elliott far post for his third goal of the postseason.
However, St. Louis answered 35 seconds later when Berglund scored his second of the playoffs at 4:11 of the first. Berglund netted the equalizer by one-timing a slap shot from the left circle after a pass from Fabbri, beating Lehtonen far post.
The Blues then took their first lead at 7:02 of the first period when Edmundson scored his first goal of the playoffs off the rush by beating Lehtonen top shelf from the left circle. Brouwer delivered a cross-ice pass to Edmundson, who finished beautifully to make it 2-1.
St. Louis doubled that lead when Brouwer scored a power-play goal off a rebound 1:20 before the first intermission. Lehtonen denied a Shattenkirk wrist shot from the left circle with a pad save, but Brouwer tapped in the rebound from the slot for his third goal of the playoffs.
St. Louis led 3-1 after one period, only the second time in the playoffs the Stars had trailed by two goals.
Niemi replaced Lehtonen, who stopped two of five shots in the first period, in the crease for Dallas to start the second period.
“It really wasn’t his night and I felt that he was off and just went decided to go with Antti (Niemi),” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of his decision to pull Lehtonen.
Editing by Peter Rutherford