A 3-1 victory Thursday night put the Dallas Stars ahead 3-1 in their opening-round playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks.
Stu Barnes had one goal and one assist, while Joel Lundqvist and Steve Ott rounded out the scoring for the fifth-seeded Stars.
Marty Turco kicked out 28 of 29 shots as Dallas moved to within one win of clinching the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final, and advancing beyond the first round for the first time since 2003.
That spring, they lost to Anaheim in the conference semifinals.
"Dallas is outplaying us," Ducks netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "We just have not played at the level we need to be successful."
Mathieu Schneider scored with eight seconds remaining to spoil Turco's bid for a second shutout in the series, much to the chagrin of the 18,532 fans on hand at the American Airlines Center.
"I felt really good," said Turco, who blanked the Ducks 4-0 in the opener. "I had an opportunity to see all the shots that came my way.
"There were some anxious, scrambling moments in the second period. But the guys were doing all they could to help me."
Brian Sutherby had a goal overturned on video review — he kicked it — for the fourth-ranked Ducks, who host Game 5 on Friday night (10:30 p.m. ET).
Recent history, however, favours the Stars because no defending Stanley Cup champion has reached the second round since the Colorado Avalanche in 2002.
"We understand the situation," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. "We have got to give ourselves a chance."
Dallas opened the scoring 16:39 into the contest as Lundqvist received the puck off a steal from Loui Eriksson and scored his first goal of the playoffs on a wrist shot from the faceoff circle.
It remained 1-0 until Barnes beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere between the pads for a breakaway goal, his first at 9:01 of the third period.
After Barnes set up Ott's second tally of the series at the 17:17 mark, Schneider responded for Anaheim on a rising wrist shot through a maze of players with eight seconds left.
"We did not generate too many quality scoring chances," Carlyle said. "As the game went on, we started to get more of a cycle going on — that is our mantra."
Corey Perry, who topped Anaheim with 29 goals, had one assist in his return to the lineup following March 7 surgery to repair a lacerated tendon in his left leg.
"I thought he was a little rusty," Carlyle said. "But I thought the more he played, he showed the ability to get back in it."
Philippe Boucher, who is listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, was replaced by Mark Fistric - one of three rookie defencemen on the Stars.
It was Fistric's playoff debut, and the fourth appearance for Nicklas Grossman and Matt Niskanen.
"They have grittiness and skill," Turco said. "It was amazing to watch."