The Associated Press
DALLAS–Jamie Benn kept up his scoring binge and helped the Dallas Stars get another win.
Benn scored his fifth goal in six games as the Stars beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 last night.
“Jamie Benn has been phenomenal all year,” Stars’ coach Jim Montgomery lauded. “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 while Anton Khudobin stopped 28 shots.
Jujhar Khaira spoiled Khudobin’s shutout bid with 5:24 left in the third while Mikko Koskinen finished with 21 saves as the Oilers snapped a three-game 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, 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 reasoned.
“It was just a matter of me getting my legs under me early and just getting back in the flow.”
Oilers’ 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,” he noted.
“We played a hell of a hockey game for almost 40 minutes. And no reward for it,” he added.
“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,” he admitted. “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.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Tampa Bay beat New Jersey 5-1 and Nashville edged Buffalo 2-1.