Benn Paces Stars to 4-1 Win Over Hurricanes

Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves for the Stars, who also got goals from Tyler Seguin, Brenden Dillon and Cody Eakin. The victory put Dallas (28-21-10) in eighth place, the final playoff spot, in the Western Conference.

Dallas scored two of its goals short-handed in regaining the momentum it had with a 6-1-2 record in the nine games before its 19-day Olympic break.

Seguin scored 3:18 into the game, and Brenden Dillon gave Dallas a 2-0 lead with a short-handed goal at 6:13 of the first. Benn, who played for Canada's gold medal-winning team, assisted on both.

Benn scored an unassisted, short-handed goal at 18:35 of the second. He took the puck away in Dallas' end and skated the length of the ice to beat Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin.

Eric Staal scored for Carolina at 2:42 of the third period. Eakin had an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Seguin gave the Stars an early lead. He took a backhand pass from Valeri Nichushkin in low in the left faceoff circle and wristed a shot past Khudobin.

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Even a penalty didn't deter Dallas. The Stars' penalty killers skated in two-on-two, but one of the Hurricanes had broken his stick. Benn dropped a pass at the top of the slot to Dillon, who shot into the left side of the net.

Dallas finished the first period with an 11-10 advantage in shots on goal.

Midway through the second period, the Stars almost scored while killing another penalty. As Benn's penalty expired, the puck went out to the neutral zone. He picked up the puck, but Khudobin stopped Benn's backhand shot.

Carolina's Jeff Skinner missed the net with two scoring chances in the second, and Dallas' Ryan Garbutt sent a shot off the right goalpost.

Benn then scored while on the penalty-killing unit. He faked Khudobin to his left and put the puck behind the goalie on his right side.

The Stars had an 11-8 advantage in shots in the middle frame.

Carolina took the first eight shots of the third period, including Staal's 16th goal. From the right side, he slid the puck between Lehtonen's legs and off his right skate across the goal line. Andrej Sekera recorded his 100th career assist on the goal.

The Stars have 66 points, one more than ninth-place Vancouver.

Carolina has lost five of its last seven games.

NOTES: Dillon's six goals this season include two of the Stars' seven short-handed scores. . The Hurricanes had allowed two short-handed goals in their first 58 games. . Carolina forward Alexander Semin, a Russian Olympian, left Thursday's game because of a lower-body injury. . Seguin has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last nine games. . Benn's gold medal and Lehtonen's bronze from the Olympics were on display. Fans could have their pictures taken beside the medals. . Carolina was 0 for 5 with a man advantage. The Hurricanes haven't scored in their last 17 power plays (six games) on the road. . The Stars have allowed only 13 goals in their last 10 games.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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