After dropping the first two games of their Western Conference first-round series with the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center, the Dallas Stars just wanted to pull the series even on home ice.

And after a 4-2 victory over the Ducks in Game 4 on Wednesday at American Airlines Center, the Stars did exactly that, tying the best-of-seven series at 2 in a game Dallas trailed 2-0 after one period.

"All year we've been good at putting stuff behind us," Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski said. "Things haven't been going well, we've been able to put periods behind us. We just stuck with the plan, kept going, kept getting in their zone and it paid off."

Dallas received goals from left winger and captain Jamie Benn and center Vernon Fiddler in the second period. Center Cody Eakin and Goligoski scored in the third.

Benn had a second goal, an apparent empty-netter with 1:04 remaining in regulation, nullified after the whistle blew before he scored.

Anaheim took an early 2-0 lead when defenseman Bryan Allen and left winger Patrick Maroon scored in the first period.

The Ducks were missing captain and center Ryan Getzlaf, who was a late scratch with an upper-body injury.

"(We missed him) everywhere, he's one of the elite players in the NHL," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You miss him in the offensive zone. You miss him on the boards. You miss him as a leader. You miss him in a lot of ways."

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 20 of the 24 shots he faced. Fiddler (goal, assist) and fellow center Shawn Horcoff (two assists) each had two points for the Stars.

Anaheim struck first when Allen connected for his first career playoff goal, a slap shot from near the Dallas blue line that beat Lehtonen top shelf at 12:17 of the first period, a sequence where Lehtonen appeared to be screened by Dallas rookie right winger Alex Chiasson.

The Ducks then doubled that advantage to 2-0 at 18:16 when Maroon scored when a shot by center Mathieu Perrault deflected off his midsection and went over Lehtonen's head before landing in the back of the Dallas net.

Dallas was down to five healthy defensemen to begin the second period while rookie defenseman Patrik Nemeth was being evaluated. Nemeth did not return for the final two periods.

Despite trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Stars quickly pulled one back in the second period as Benn scored his third of the postseason 27 seconds into the second. After Benn won a faceoff with Perreault near the Anaheim blue line, Benn rushed up the ice and beat Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen top shelf on the short side to make it 2-1.

The Stars pulled even at 6:33 when Fiddler got the better of Andersen on the short side for his third career playoff goal. It initially appeared that Andersen had stopped the shot, but Fiddler's wrister struck him in the chest before going over the line.

Anaheim had a great opportunity at 10:57 of the second when Maroon launched a wrister from the right circle that found the right post.

Dallas outshot Anaheim 16-3 in the second period.

The Stars continued that momentum early in the third when Eakin fired a wrister off the far post 58 seconds into the period.

Eakin would not miss on his next attempt, beating Andersen far post with a wrister over his glove at 6:22 of the third, Eakin's first career playoff goal.

Goligoski then joined the fray at 7:44 of the third with a wrister from the slot that Andersen was late on. That was the last shot that Andersen, who stopped 19 of 22 shots, would face as he was lifted for goaltender Jonas Hiller right after Dallas' fourth goal.

"After the second goal, I certainly did (think about pulling Andersen)," Boudreau said. "After they scored their second goal, I told (Hiller) to get ready because I didn't think he (Andersen) was that sharp. In the third period when they got that goal (by Goligoski), I just thought it was time."

Hiller stopped both shots he faced in relief of Andersen.

Game 5 is Friday in Anaheim.

NOTES: Ducks LW Matt Beleskey (lower body), C Ryan Getzlaf (upper body), RW Tim Jackman (hand), D Stephane Robidas (leg fracture), D Luca Sbisa and RW Teemu Selanne were scratched. ... Stars LW Erik Cole, D Brenden Dillon (lower body), C Dustin Jeffrey, C Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat) and D Aaron Rome were scratched. ... Ducks D Mark Fistric replaced Robidas in Anaheim's third defensive pairing alongside D Bryan Allen. ... Dallas trailed 2-0 after the first period, the second time in the series the Stars have trailed by multiple goals after the opening 20 minutes. Dallas was down 3-0 after one period in Game 1. ... The first-period goal by Ducks D Bryan Allen was his first since Feb. 28, 2012, a span of 128 games. Allen's last goal came as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes and was scored against the Nashville Predators. ... Announced attendance was 18,962, a sellout.