DALLAS (AP) Mason Marchment and the Dallas Stars were playing with a Game 7 mindset, even though it was only the second game of the Western Conference Final and it took them a bit to really get in that mode.

Jake Oettinger withstood a flurry of shots by Edmonton in the first period after Stars captain Jamie Benn scored on their first shot, and Marchment put them ahead in the third period of a 3-1 victory Saturday night that evened the series.

“We’re so close, so it’s just got to be a Game 7 mentality for the rest of this ride here,” Marchment said.

“The first period, for whatever reason, we were tentative. We had talked about playing with the Game 7 mindset, and I think our intentions were in the right place,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “We looked like we were waiting for something to happen. We kind of regrouped at the end of the first. ... I loved the second and third, thought they were excellent.”

Marchment broke a 1-1 tie at 3:41 of the third period when he deflected a shot by Ryan Suter, sending the puck through the legs of defenseman Vincent Deshamais before it bounced on the ice and went between the right arm and body of goalie Stuart Skinner.

Benn had his fourth goal this postseason and assisted on Esa Lindell’s empty-netter with 2:03 left. Wyatt Johnston had two assists.

Oettinger stopped 28 shots, including 16 in the first period when Dallas was outshot 17-4. He had a reaching glove save on Mattias Ekholm’s shot with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the game, and also gathered in the Edmonton defenseman’s long shot about a half-minute after that.

“Obviously, we had a lot of shots and all that. .., It wasn’t like we were dominated or anything,” Ekholm said. "Going into the third, you know it’s going to be one of those, it’s a shot from the blue line, it’s a tip, it’s a greasy goal if you will, but they obviously got it."

Marchment scored after Suter, the 39-year-old defenseman whose 1,444 career regular-season games without a Stanley Cup title are the most among active players, shot from against the board just inside the blue line.

“As a defenseman you’re just trying to get pucks down there to your guys. You’re almost shooting at your guys,” Suter said.

This was the seventh consecutive time the Stars went into Game 2 of a best-of-seven playoff series coming off a loss, including all three this postseason. Marchment had last scored in their 4-3 loss to Vegas in the playoff opener April 22, left their Game 2 loss with an undisclosed injury and then missed six games before returning in Game 2 of the second round against Colorado.

“There's not many better feelings than scoring in a playoff game,” Marchment said. “We’ll take that one and ... move on to the next one, right. We’ve got a big game coming up, so worry about that.”

Connor Brown had Edmonton’s goal. Skinner, who had won the previous three games since sitting two games in middle of the last round, stopped 22 shots.

Game 3 is Monday night in Edmonton, where the Stars won 4-3 in their only trip there this season. That was Nov. 2 during the Oilers’ 3-9-1 start that led to Jay Woodcroft getting fired as coach and replaced by Kris Knoblauch.

The Oilers had gone ahead in this series on Connor McDavid's goal 32 seconds into double overtime for a 3-2 win in Game 1 on Thursday.

Edmonton center Leon Draisaitl was scoreless, ending his playoff-opening points streak ended at 13 games. That was one short of matching Mark Messier's franchise record set in 1988.

The teams traded goals 44 seconds apart early in the first period.

Benn scored on with a wrister from the top of the right circle that flew across the front of Skinner and in the lower left corner of the net 3:39 into the game.

Edmonton got even when Brown scored on a rebound of Cody Ceci's shot after he had initially gotten the puck from Brown. It was Brown's first goal this postseason, and the only other one he has came in 2018 for Toronto against Boston.

That is the only one that got by the busy Oettinger.

“If he doesn’t play the way he does in the first, we’re in a big hole and we might not get out of it,” DeBoer said.

“Jake was unbelievable,” Benn said. "We don’t win that game obviously without Jake tonight.”


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