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First Round

Stars' top line has its way in Game 5 win against Predators

Benn, Seguin, Radulov combine for seven points to help Dallas take lead in Western series

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- The Dallas Stars' top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov were on a roll in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round against the Nashville Predators on Saturday. So much so, they wanted to get on the ice as often as possible.

"A couple of times Jamie was banging his stick and looking at me," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "They wanted it, they felt it."

That was apparent. Radulov scored two goals, Seguin had a goal and an assist, and Benn had three assists in a 5-3 win at Bridgestone Arena. The Stars lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at Dallas on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN1, TVAS, FS-SW, FS-TN).

 

[RELATED: Stars top Predators in Game 5, take series lead | Complete Predators vs. Stars series coverage]

 

Benn, Radulov and Seguin have combined for 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in the series. Benn has six points (one goal, five assists), Radulov has five points (four goals, one assist), and Seguin has five points (two goals, three assists). The Predators have had no answer for them, and it didn't help that Nashville had 19 giveaways in Game 5.

"You know they're dangerous players," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seems like the mistakes we made, they were obvious tonight, and they were in the back of our net. I don't feel like it was a point where we were under siege, I just felt like when we made a mistake, it was costly, and it turned over quick and had a result at the end of it."

Stars forward Jason Dickinson scored his first two Stanley Cup Playoff goals, and Ben Bishop made 30 saves on the day he was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, given annually to the goalie voted the best at his position. 

Video: DAL@NSH, Gm5: Radulov converts Seguin's perfect pass

Benn and Radulov each had a chance in the first period after Predators forward Mikael Granlund turned over the puck, but Pekka Rinne made the save on Radulov's backhand at 7:08 and Benn's wrist shot six seconds later. Seguin also had two shots stopped by Rinne after a turnover by Predators defenseman P.K. Subban at 19:51.

Benn, Seguin and Radulov combined for 10 of the Stars' 14 shots in the first period. The Predators had nine shots in the period.

"It's always positive when you're getting the chances," Benn said. "Pekka's a [heck] of a goalie; he's made some incredible saves in this series, especially on me, so far. The positives are, we were getting the chances. Obviously [it stinks] to not score sometimes, but as long as you stick with it and keep going, and I thought that's what we did as a group, and it paid off for us."

In the second period, Seguin patiently held the puck before passing to Radulov, who scored on Rinne's glove side for a 2-1 lead at 40 seconds. Seven minutes later, Benn pushed Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis off the puck and passed to Radulov, who scored from the slot to make it 3-1 at 7:41.

"Not many players want to go get the puck with him going in the corner. I wouldn't," Seguin said of Benn. "He's a big boy and he's working hard for us."

Video: DAL@NSH, Gm5: Radulov finishes feed from Benn

If the Stars were going to be successful in this series, they needed their best players to lead the way. Benn, Seguin and Radulov have done that, but they know there's work ahead of them.

"I mean, our line's all about work, it's about will," Seguin said. "Obviously we have the skill and talent there, but when we're working hard, we're happy to go up against anybody. But they're a good team, they had some good pushback tonight. It's going to be a really hard game to try and win on home ice on Monday."

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