Benn’s 5th goal in 6 games helps Stars beat Oil­ers 4-1

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

JAMIE Benn kept up his scor­ing binge and helped the Dal­las Stars get an­other win.

Benn scored his fifth goal in six games, and the Stars beat the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers 4-1 on Mon­day night.

“Jamie Benn has been phe­nom­e­nal all year,” Stars coach Jim Mont­gomery said. “It’s get­ting close to 10 games now that he’s win­ning so many bat­tles. When your best play­ers are your hard­est work­ers you start to see the team build.”

Ja­son Dick­in­son, Brett Ritchie and Esa Lin­dell also scored in the Stars’ third straight win. Mat­tias Jan­mark had two as­sists and An­ton Khu­dobin stopped 28 shots.

Ju­jhar Khaira spoiled Khu­dobin’s shutout bid with 5:24 left in the third and Mikko Kosk­i­nen fin­ished with 21 saves as the Oil­ers snapped a three­game win streak. Ed­mon­ton’s streak started with a 1-0 over­time win at home over Dal­las last Tues­day.

Ritchie re­turned to the lineup af­ter miss­ing five games as a healthy scratch. He as­sisted on Dick­in­son’s first-pe­riod goal and then scored his first of the sea­son at 1:51 of the third pe­riod for a 2-0 lead.

“We talked to (Ritchie) about his puck posses­sion needs to be bet­ter,” Mont­gomery said, “and the first goal of the game he wins a forecheck, moves it, pro­tects it, which ended up be­ing the goal.”

Ritchie said he learned dur­ing his hia­tus from the ice.

“There’s a lot you can learn, a lot you can work on to make sure you’re ready,” he said. “It was just a mat­ter of me get­ting my legs un­der me early and just get­ting back in the flow.”

Ed­mon­ton coach Ken Hitch­cock said Ritchie’s goal was a dif­fer­ence maker.

“When they got their sec­ond goal, that took some wind out of our sails. We played a hell of a hockey game for al­most 40 min­utes. And no re­ward for it. You’re not go­ing to win scor­ing one goal on the road.”

Benn scored his team-lead­ing 12th goal on the power play at 7:24 of the third, tip­ping a pass from Gavin Bayreuther past Kosk­i­nen to push the lead to 3-0. The Stars were 1 for 2 on the power play af­ter go­ing 2 for 29 with a man ad­van­tage over the pre­vi­ous 10 games.

Mont­gomery said the Dal­las power play helped even while com­ing up empty on a sec­ond-pe­riod ad­van­tage.

“I thought we were kind of flat un­til we got that power play. The power play gave us a lot of mo­men­tum.”

Lin­dell capped the scor­ing with an unas­sisted, short-handed, empty-net goal with 2:14 left by send­ing the puck the length of the ice with the Oil­ers skat­ing 6-on-4.

The Stars’ first goal came at 10:59 of the open­ing pe­riod. Ritchie dug the puck out of the left cor­ner to Jan­mark in the left face­off cir­cle. Jan­mark passed across to Dick­in­son at the right of the net for an easy snap shot into the open right side of the net for his fifth.

Each team had a good scor­ing chance in the sec­ond pe­riod, but nei­ther scored. Khu­dobin stopped a wrist shot by Jesse Pulju­jarvi, who then took the re­bound and hit the cross­bar. On a 2-on-1 dur­ing the pe­riod’s only power play, Dal­las’ Tyler Seguin kept the puck but hit the cross­bar be­hind Kosk­i­nen.

At 1:51 of the third pe­riod, Jan­mark passed from the slot across to Ritchie to the left of the net. Ritchie scored his first goal of the sea­son by fit­ting the puck be­tween Kosk­i­nen and the left goal­post.

NOTES: Ed­mon­ton C Con­nor Mc­David and C Ryan Spooner missed the game be­cause of ill­ness. Stars coach Jim Mont­gomery said Mc­David’s ab­sence helped Dal­las. “We never had to be aware of him on the ice.” ... Hitch­cock re­turned to Dal­las for the first time since coach­ing the Stars last sea­son. The Ed­mon­ton na­tive took over the Oil­ers on Nov. 20 . ... The Stars are 8-0-1 vs. Pa­cific Di­vi­sion this sea­son, in­clud­ing 1-0-1 vs. the Oil­ers . ... The teams’ fi­nal meet­ing will be on March 28 at Ed­mon­ton.

Photo: AP

Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers left wing Ju­jhar Khaira (16) scores a goal on Dal­las Stars goal­tender An­ton Khu­dobin (35) as de­fense­man Miro Heiska­nen (4) and right wing Va­leri Nichushkin (43) look on dur­ing the third pe­riod of an NHL hockey game on Mon­day.

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