DENVER — Taking on the NHL’s best home team, the Dallas Stars set out to implement a particular game plan and executed it almost perfectly.

“We knew coming into this rink how these guys play,” Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. “We also know how we play on the road. We knew it’d be a big challenge.”

The Stars let the Avalanche come to them but frustrated them in the process. They didn’t allow much to get past their defense, blocking nearly everything thrown their way. And when a half dozen or so high-danger opportunities got to the goalie, Jake Oettinger did what he often does and bailed his team out. The Stars were victorious 4-1 in Game 3.

The score was 2-1 heading into the third period but Dallas shut things down. They didn’t allow the Avs to do what they did in the first two games when trailing in the final 20 minutes. No comeback in this one. Instead, Dallas leads the series 2-1 and regained home-ice advantage in the process.

“I think our group took it personally when everyone questioned whether we could hold a lead in the third,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “It was warranted with how the first two games went. But we knew we were better than that. We’ve been really good in those situations all year, been great on the road all year. We just felt comfortable tonight. The details of our game tonight were outstanding.”

DeBoer seemingly echoed the same sentiments he had earlier that morning. He was excited for the opportunity to put his team’s strong road play up against the NHL’s best home team. The blueprint was simple: Greasy shutdown hockey, a strong PK, and an advantageous offense off the rush.

Despite being outshot 12-5 in the first period, the Stars led 1-0 at the break thanks to Logan Stankoven’s first career playoff goal. Colorado, meanwhile, was 0-for-2 on the power play and carryied 1:44 of a third man-advantage into the middle frame. They couldn’t generate much in more than four minutes of PP time in the period because of Dallas’ ability to keep anything and everything away from Oettinger.

“It could have been a difference maker for us, especially early in the game,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said of the power play, which finished the night 0-for-3.

The road team did an excellent job of blocking everything the Avs threw their way — especially from the point — where star defenseman Cale Makar had been incredibly dangerous in the postseason. And when the Avalanche tried to play down low, the Stars defenders, both at even strength and on the penalty kill, were exceptional at getting sticks in lanes and breaking up many of Colorado’s passes.

Colorado had just two great chances on the PP. On the first one, superstar Nathan MacKinnon fired a one-timer from the left circle at a glaring view of the back of the net. But defenseman Chris Tanev blocked it and swatted it away. On the other opportunity, Lehkonen was stopped by Oettinger off the rush.

“It’s not that we didn’t create any looks. I think MacK had one blocked with an empty net,” Bednar said. “They do a nice job with their sticks and the pressure is coming at you quickly, so you gotta be crisp with the puck, and I just felt like we just weren’t quite there tonight with it.”

The Stars stuck to the plan until they drew a penalty and got their first chance on the power play. Their PP scored twice in Game 2 and was the difference in what ended up being a close game two nights earlier. And they had an opportunity 7:23 into the second to take a two-goal lead. Instead, Colorado used their PK to turn the tides.

In the waning moments of the PK, defenseman Samuel Girard did his best Erik Johnson impression, sliding on the ice and blocking two shots beneath the hash marks while on his knees. The puck eventually went the other way, and Brandon Duhaime, who exited the box moments earlier, beat his man wide to create a scoring chance. Oettinger made the save but the crowd got behind the excellent penalty kill.

On the ensuing shift, MacKinnon gained the zone and received a pass from Devon Toews. He broke in and went to the backhand to get past Tanev before shooting it on Oettinger. The puck went past the goalie for Mikko Rantanen to clean up in the crease, tying it up at 1-1.

Colorado held a 21-8 shot advantage and started to find its stride. Suddenly the passes were connecting, the opportunities were mounting and the puck was cycling smoothly down low. But before the period ended, Dallas again took advantage of a counter-attack off the rush.

Evgenii Dadonov skated down the wall and sent a cross-ice feed to Seguin for the tap-in past goalie Alexandar Georgiev. The goal was all DeBoer’s team needed to execute his plan in the third period and shut things down.

Colorado had just seven shots on Oettinger in the third. It outshot Dallas 29-23. Georgiev finished with 19 saves, many of which kept the Avalanche within reach until the empty-net goals piled on.

“It’s a different type of challenge. I feel it’s not always easy but sometimes 50 shots against is not easy either,” Georgiev said. “So just a different game and you have to be able to play any type of game.”

Monday’s Game 4 is now of greater importance for the Avs. Colorado has yet to play with the lead at any point in this series. The Stars have led heading into all six of the intermission breaks, whether first or second. It’s not quite the best recipe for success to play from behind. The Avs know it. And the Stars are well aware of the pressure it puts on Bednar’s club.

“I feel like you can play a little looser, more free when you have a lead,” Oettinger said following his 28-save performance. “It’s a big deal to get a good start like that, and we’ve done that.”