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'Captain Clutch' comes through again as Stars win fifth straight

Benn tallies another winning goal for Dallas, which downs the Jets to run its point streak to 10 games

by Jeff Odom @jeffodom /

DALLAS -- Captain Clutch delivered again.

For the third straight game, Jamie Benn netted the winning goal for the Stars, this time late in the third period Thursday, as Dallas survived a furious rally by the Winnipeg Jets in its 5-3 triumph at American Airlines Center.


[WATCH: All Stars vs. Jets highlights]


Dallas (13-8-2) has won a season-best five games in a row and is now 12-1-1 in its past 14 overall. The victory also stretched the Stars' point streak to 10 games to move them past Winnipeg and into a tie for second place in the Central Division standings.

"I think if you look around the room, everybody is playing with confidence," said veteran forward Corey Perry, who finished with three assists. "Everybody wants the puck. Everybody's holding onto the puck and is making strong plays. If you keep doing that in this league, you're going to have success."

After a scoreless opening frame, Mattias Janmark -- making his return to the lineup following a four-game absence due to a lower-body injury -- opened a second-period onslaught for the Stars with a nifty goal off a rebound at 7:37. Jason Dickinson then followed up a little more than two minutes later, tipping home a shot from Taylor Fedun to double the advantage.

Video: WPG@DAL: Dickinson tips in gorgeous top-shelf goal

The Jets challenged Dickinson's goal, claiming the forward was offside. And while replay showed Dickinson clearly over the blueline before the puck crossed, a usual indication of offiside, officials ruled that he maintained possession as he entered the attacking zone and upheld the play.

"They felt it was possession, I just didn't think so," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "There's lots of different ones that we've seen. For me ... I think he actually lost the puck and then came back to it, so for me it was offsides."

It looked like the Stars were set to cruise when Radek Faksa made it 3-0 on a goal off a mad scramble in front of Connor Hellebuyck at 13:19, but Winnipeg answered with three straight scores from Kyle Connor, Patrik Laine and Luca Sbisa to knot it up in the third period.

That's when Benn answered the call.

The Stars' captain raced into the offensive zone, picking the pocket of Laine off an errant Winnipeg pass, before shuffling in and beating Hellebuyck with a filthy backhand.

Video: WPG@DAL: Benn makes move to backhand and scores

"I think he was refusing to let us lose," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said.

Benn is just the fourth player in franchise history to record a game-winning goal in three consecutive games, and the first since Jere Lehtinen did so during the 2005-06 season.

"I think you saw right off the face-off, he jumped from his coverage and he was just hunting the puck," Janmark said of Benn. "You could see that he was out there to score a goal and that's what he's done throughout the years when he's been at his best, so it's always good to see."

Tyler Seguin provided the dagger with 34.8 seconds left, potting an empty-netter to seal the win.

"When you have a lead like that you kind of want to step on them and end things a little earlier," Benn said. "But credit to them, they're a good team, a lot of fight in them and they came back. We're just fortunate to come out with the win."

Video: WPG@DAL: Seguin pots late empty-net goal


Fast facts
  • Benn's three-game goal streak is his longest since he scored in three straight from Nov. 28 through Dec. 3, 2018.

  • Perry now has back-to-back multi-point games and tallied three-or-more points for the second time this season and had his first three-assist outing since he was with Anaheim on Feb. 25, 2018 against Edmonton.

  • With his assist on Seguin's empty-netter, defenseman Miro Heiskanen is now riding a career-long point streak at five games.

  • Ben Bishop, who celebrated his 33th birthday on Thursday, stopped 23 of 26 shots faced.

  • The Stars outshot the Jets for the game, 36-26.

  • The Stars and Jets both finished 0-for-2 on the power play.

  • Heiskanen led the Stars in ice time at 24:06 followed by Esa Lindell (23:27) and Andrej Sekera (19:58).

Video: Montgomery impressed with Benn in Stars' win


    They said it

    "You try and just have a good first shift after our team scores or their team scores. I wasn't having a very good game, if we're being honest -- even started that (last) shift with a turnover. I was thinking about it after they scored. And my dad taught me a pretty good lesson in baseball: you go 0-for-3, you're bummed, but you have another chance to go up to the plate and get a hit, and there could be a hero. I went out after they scored for that shift and figured, 'This is my chance to make a difference.' That's what I tried to do. So, I sat down, thought about my dad and had a little chuckle there and kept on going with the game. Funny things your parents can teach you in life, and that's one of them."

    -- Benn on netting the game-winning goal


    "I didn't think he could go to another level and he did again. It's unreal. We were sitting there like, 'Wow.' What you guys (the media) do, that's what we (the coaches) do. It's pretty amazing because we deal with these high-level athletes all the time, but he is at a level that you don't see very often."

    -- Montgomery on Heiskanen's performance, especially in the first period

    Video: WPG@DAL: Perry on three-assist night in Stars' win


    Up next

    The Stars continue their homestand against the Blackhawks (9-9-4) on Saturday at 7 p.m. before a home-and-road back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday with Vegas and Chicago.

    This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

    Jeff Odom is the manager of and writes about the Stars/NHL. Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.

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