The St. Louis Blues got goals from David Backes and T,J. Oshie in the first 4 minutes, 32 seconds of Game 4 Monday, but all that did was rile up the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings fell behind once more in the second period, but got third-period goals from Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams to win 4-3 and even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
The Blues pulled goalie Brian Elliott for an extra attacker, but the Kings held on.
Game 5 is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The home team has won the first four games of the series.
Oshie's second goal of the night early in the second period put the Blues back on top 3-2. He scored on the rebound of a shot by Vladimir Sobotka after Oshie appeared to take a shot off his injured ankle on the previous shift.
The two goals were the first in 17 career playoff games for Oshie.
But the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings kept applying heavy pressure until they collected the tying goal by Kopitar at 7:14 of the third period. It was Kopitar's first goal after a 19-game drought and he was set up in front by Dustin Brown.
A few minutes later, the Kings struck again on a deflection goal by Williams off a shot by Mike Richards.
Backes gave his team a 1-0 lead just 1 minute, 12 seconds into the game when he buried the rebound of a shot by Jay Bouwmeester into a wide-open net.
The Blues made it 2-0 and ended an 0-for-12 stretch on the power play when Oshie deflected in a shot by Kevin Shattenkirk at the 4:32 mark of the first period.
With the Blues pushing for offense, the tight defense that had served them so well during the first three games suddenly evaporated.
Blues defenseman Barret Jackman fell near center ice after his team failed to get the puck in deep, leading to a 2-on-1 rush for the Kings finished off on Jeff Carter's first goal of the playoff series.
With Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold caught trying to pinch in at the left point, the Kings broke free for a 3-on-1 scoring chance.
Jarret Stoll put the puck on the stick of Dustin Penner and the veteran forward scored his first of the series and 11th of his playoff career.
While the Kings brought much better offensive pressure throughout the second period, it was the Blues that wound up getting the go-ahead goal by Oshie.
Jackman drew a cross-checking penalty in the second period after taking exception to Kyle Clifford's extra whack or two on Blues goalie Brian Elliott.
During the Kings' power play, Elliott robbed Richards and Carter with big saves.
Heading into Game 4, the Blues had won 14 of their last 18 games while allowing just 25 goals during that span.
As expected, the Blues inserted Russian rookie winger Vladimir Tarasenko into the lineup, deciding to sit winger Adam Cracknell on the fourth line.
Tarasenko's last two goals came March 28 in a 6-4 loss to the Kings, but he failed to score in his final 16 regular-season games. He played only 5 minutes, 51 seconds on Monday.
Elliott entered Game 4 with a 2-1 record, 0.93 goals-against average and .962 save percentage while stopping 76 of 79 shots.
His counterpart for the Kings, Jonathan Quick, was 1-2 with a 1.25 goals-against average and .959 save percentage. Quick had stopped 93 of 97 shots.
Blues winger Chris Stewart, the team's regular-season scoring leader, is still looking for his first point in the playoffs.
The Kings and Anaheim Ducks will play an outdoor NHL game next January at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.