Miro Heiskanen scored twice as the Dallas Stars held off a furious late comeback from the Calgary Flames to win 5-4 on Thursday and tie their NHL playoff series 1-1.
Dallas defender Jamie Oleksiak redirected a pass from Corey Perry to score with 40 seconds left for the win.
Tyler Seguin and Corey Perry also scored for Dallas while linemate Alexander Radulov chipped in two assists for their first points of the post-season.
Game 3 in the seven-game series goes Friday at Rogers Place.
Netminder Ben Bishop turned aside 22 shots for Dallas in his first start of the series. Cam Talbot stopped 31 and took the loss for Calgary.
Dillon Dube, Derek Forbort, Sam Bennett and Tobias Rieder replied for the Flames.
Heiskanen (eight goals, 35 points in the regular season) has been a workhorse for Dallas in the post-season, jumping into the rush and making plays. The 21-year old Finn leads the Stars with two goals and five assists in five post-season games, including the three round-robin games.
Dallas, a low-scoring team at the best of times, scored only twice in regulation time in the round-robin to drop to third seed, and managed only two goals in a 3-2 loss to Calgary in Game 1.
It looked like déjà vu for Dallas just 19 seconds into the first period, when Dube continued his red hot offensive game by scoring his third goal of the series.
After a shot caromed off the back boards right into the slot, Dube beat defender Esa Lindell to the puck and chipped it backhand over Bishop.
Dallas struck back before the period was out, scoring one goal with grit and another with skill.
First, Seguin fought off Forbort to tip a rebound past Talbot. Radulov got an assist. Then Heiskanen, on a two-on-one rush, snapped a pass from Radulov low to the glove side on Talbot from the left faceoff circle to give Dallas its first lead of the series.
Heiskenan scored again early in the second, whipping a sharp angle knuckling puck from the left faceoff circle that fooled Talbot, tumbling past him on the short side. Forbort drew Calgary within one, wristing a puck from the blue line through traffic and fluttered past Bishop blocker-side.
Dallas got the two-goal lead back before the period was out, on the power play. Veteran Perry jumped on a rebound on a Roope Hintz shot, whacked away twice on rebound until the puck jumped up and over Talbot stick-side.
Calgary made it close with just over seven minutes to go, scoring while short-handed. Rieder chipped the puck past a pinching John Klingberg at Calgary’s blue line, skated past him on a breakaway to wrist the puck past Bishop.
Bennett then scored on the power play, standing on the lip of the crease and redirecting an Elias Lindholm pass behind Bishop, setting the stage for Oleksiak’s dramatic game-winner.
Dallas has been waiting for some offensive oomph from its top forwards.
Seguin (17 goals and 50 points in the regular season) had been scoreless in the post-season and didn’t even get a shot on goal in Game 1. Radulov (15 goals and 34 points in the regular season) had registered only two shots on goal in the playoffs heading into action Thursday.
Dube and linemates Milan Lucic and Sam Bennett, meanwhile, continued to make their presence felt on the scoresheet and on the ice.
They repeatedly launched board-rattling hits on the Stars defenders as the speakers played canned “oohs and aahs” to mimic fans in the otherwise empty arena.
Matt Tkachuk, Calgary’s top scorer in the regular season and a noted agitator, may be a question mark for Game 3.
He missed a few shifts in the first period after he got speared in the groin by Jamie Benn. In the third period he got sandwiched between Benn and Oleksiak, bonking heads with Oleksiak. Looking wobbly, he immediately went off the ice and down the tunnel to the locker room.
All Western Conference post-season games are being played at Rogers Place. Players are also staying isolated to prevent the spread of COVID-19.