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game recap

Jamie Benn scores 200th NHL goal

Stars forward reaches milestone in victory against Predators

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars put Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza together on a line and cashed in during a 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center on Thursday. 

It was the first time they had been grouped on a line this season and it had instant results. 

 

WATCH: All Predators vs. Stars highlights

 

"That was a lot more fun," Seguin said. "Doing the right things and getting rewarded."

Benn scored his 200th NHL goal and had a pair of assists, Spezza broke a 12-game goal drought and had two assists and Seguin scored on the power play and had an assist. 

Video: NSH@DAL: Benn buries 200th NHL goal to open scoring

"I thought we've showed good chemistry in the past," Spezza said. "We know when we're put together we have to be good. I thought it was good to have an impact as a line and we need to get things going the right way, and the three of us have to be good to do that."

The Stars scored twice in a span of 23 seconds in the first period. 

Benn gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 9:55 on a wrist shot. It was his second goal at 5-on-5 play this season and first since Nov. 10 against the Calgary Flames. Even though it was a milestone goal, Benn said it "felt like any other goal."

On the next shift, Brett Ritchie scored his seventh goal of the season at 10:18.

Video: NSH@DAL: Stars score twice in less than 30 seconds

"Just miscommunication and not bearing down in our own end, and they make us pay, they really do," Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. "We just got to get better on the road because it seems like we don't make those mistakes at home, but somehow they happen on the road."

Viktor Arvidsson scored shorthanded for Nashville at 16:03 to make it 2-1. Stars defenseman John Klingberg broke his stick on a point shot to set up the 2-on-1 rush. 

Spezza scored for the first time since Nov. 3 when he gave Dallas a 3-1 lead at 3:27 of the second period. Spezza deked around Arvidsson and beat Pekka Rinne on the glove side. 

Dallas took a 4-1 lead at 5:47 when Antoine Roussel finished off a pass from Lauri Korpikoski. 

Rinne, who allowed four goals on 18 shots, was replaced by Marek Mazanec after Roussel's goal. 

Seguin scored on the power play with 44 seconds remaining in the second period to give Dallas a 5-1 lead. 

Calle Jarnkrok scored for Nashville at 15:09 of the third period to make it 5-2. 

Kari Lehtonen made 34 saves in his sixth win of the season. 

Video: NSH@DAL: Lehtonen robs Josi with glove save

 

Goal of the game

Spezza ended his scoring drought and restored the Stars' two-goal lead. "It's been a while for me. I'd be lying if I didn't say it felt good," he said. "Nice to get one by the goalie. I had a lot chances last game. That's usually how it works, you get a couple the night before and you get rewarded the next night."

Video: NSH@DAL: Spezza undresses defense, nets pretty goal

 

Save of the game

Lehtonen made a rebound save with his left pad on Predators forward Frederick Gaudreau with 3:11 remaining. 

Video: NSH@DAL: Lehtonen robs Pardy with superb pad save

 
Highlight of the game

Seguin's power-play goal gave the Stars a four-goal lead and came 16 seconds after they had an apparent goal by Radek Faksa overturned for goalie interference. 

Video: NSH@DAL: Seguin rifles PPG off of feed from Benn

 

Unsung performance of the game

Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak had four hits on his first shift and his teammates said that set the tone for the game. "What a shift, huh? He came back to the bench and I looked down and he was laughing," Seguin said. "That was a man shift. When he wants to do that he can do it, and you see a guy doing that and it lifts the whole team."

 

They said it 

"Well, they showed up to play and we were a no-show." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette 

 

"I thought all four lines played well. I thought there were other guys that deserved to score that didn't. I think that line [of Benn-Seguin-Spezza] did some good stuff, made some good plays and they found ways to take pucks hard to the net." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff 

 

Need to know

The Stars improved to 27-8-1 all-time against the Predators at home. … Stars forward Cody Eakin was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. … Nashville went 0-for-3 on the power play, Dallas was 1-for-5. 

 

What's next 

Predators: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN1, CSN-PH, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Spezza, Benn lead Stars past Predators, 5-2

 

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