CALGARY -- Jamie Benn made his case for a berth on the Canadian Olympic Team at the home of Hockey Canada on Thursday night. The Dallas Stars' captain had six points, four of them assists on goals by linemate Tyler Seguin, in a 7-3 rout of the Calgary Flames.
Benn didn't receive an invite to come to Calgary for Canada's Olympic orientation camp in August. But with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning potentially sidelined due to a broken right leg suffered this week, Benn made his case for a spot on the Olympic team.
"There's obviously so many great players in this League that can get picked," Benn said. "There was obviously some pretty high talent at that camp in the summer so it is what it is. I just came into camp this year with a focus of being the best player I can be. I'm just trying to get better each and every day.
"It's going to be an honor if you do get picked for this team, but for me and Tyler right now, our focus is on the Dallas Stars and trying to make this team win hockey games. So far so good, lately."
Seguin, acquired from the Boston Bruins during the summer, might have opened some eyes as well; he also had an assist for a five-point night. But he pointed to Benn as the star of the night.
"Obviously you've got to look at Benny's night," said Seguin, the second player chosen in the 2010 NHL Draft. "He was making some incredible passes out there. Some of the plays I was just fortunate enough to finish them off."
"We just got outworked," Flames forward Lee Stempniak said. "The same story. We had a bad first period, didn't play smart, didn't play hard. That's a talented team. They took advantage of the odd-man rushes. Then same story, too little, too late in the third. We've got to find that desperation at the start of the game."
Though the Stars were playing the second half of a back-to-back after beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Wednesday, it was Calgary that struggled from the drop of the puck for a second straight game. Two nights after managing six shots through two periods against the San Jose Sharks, the Flames needed nearly five minutes to record their first shot on Kari Lehtonen.
"You've got to look at it as being mental," Stempniak said. "We shouldn't be tired. We shouldn't have excuses. We need to go out there and have that mentality right from the start."
Dallas opened the scoring at 6:27 after a pair of Flames lapses.
Benn picked up a Sean Monahan turnover just inside the Stars' blue line, raced up the ice and fired a shot that was turned away by Reto Berra. But Dennis Wideman cleared the rebound right onto the stick of Brenden Dillon on the boards, and he quickly fed Robidas for a one-time blast that beat a screened Berra and gave Dallas a 1-0 lead.
The goal marked the fourth straight game and 11th in their past 14 that the Flames have given up the first goal. In fact, it took the Flames until 11:48 to record their second shot of the period, a deflection by Jones that Lehtonen easily handled. Defenseman Shane O'Brien tested Lehtonen twice late in the first period before the Stars blew the game open in the second.
Seguin got his first of the night at 1:19 when he lifted his own rebound over Berra after picking up Benn's original shot in traffic. That extended his goal-scoring streak to three games.
The duo connected again at 4:25. Alex Goligoski intercepted a TJ Galiardi pass in the neutral zone and fed Seguin, who sprung Benn in alone on Berra. Benn beat the Flames goalie with a backhand deke for his seventh of the season at a 3-0 lead.
At 8:32, Benn found Seguin with a cross-ice pass in the high slot for a wrister that found the back of the net to give Dallas a 4-0 lead and send Berra to the bench.
"To be honest, we were happy we won in Edmonton," Seguin said. "But for Benn and I, sitting here together, we didn't like the way we completely played last game and I thought the first we were OK and talked about it and the second, we just came out rolling."
Stajan ended Lehtonen's bid for back-to-back shutouts at 15:01, blasting a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle past his glove. That snapped Lehtonen's shutout streak at 96:42.
Seguin struck early in the third, too, burying Valeri Nichushkin's rebound from a sharp angle just 30 seconds in to complete his hat trick.
After Jones and Stajan scored to make it 6-3, Seguin and Benn completed their big night when Seguin snapped a pass from Benn past Ramo with 3:39 remaining for a power-play goal and a new career-high.
"It's definitely not that easy," Seguin said. "It's hard to score in this League but sometimes you get your good bounces."
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