After a deflating 6-1 loss in Game 3, the Dallas Stars bounced back in a big way Thursday night.
Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was expecting a winning effort, and his best players delivered.
"I said, 'It's time for us to man up,' and I thought we did," Ruff told reporters postgame. "I thought our leaders were our leaders."
Indeed they were, as captain Jamie Benn had two assists, taking the lead on the playoff-points leaderboard with 14 through 10 games. Patrick Sharp, acquired by Dallas to help turn them into postseason contenders, also notched two points.
"We put it behind us," Benn told Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com. "You can't play perfect hockey all the time. I think it was just magnified a bit because it's the playoffs. The message was 'stay positive, get back at it.' We know we're a good team. We finished where we did because of the way we played throughout the year, and we believed in each other."
"I know it was ugly for a lot of the guys and the team in general for Game 3," Sharp said. "Credit to the team, we were able to put it behind us."
Eakin, who is centering the top line in the absence of Tyler Seguin, is happy to be headed home with the series tied.
"That's the nice thing about finishing first, we've got home-court advantage back," he said. "It's a race to two, and it's going to be a lot of fun."
Dallas hosts a pivotal Game 5 on Saturday afternoon.
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