Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jamie Benn Scores Shootout Winner as the Dallas Stars Edge Calgary Flames 3-2: Benn Scores in Shootout as Stars Beat Flames

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Jamie Benn Scores Shootout Winner as the Dallas Stars Edge Calgary Flames 3-2: Benn Scores in Shootout as Stars Beat Flames

Article excerpt

CALGARY - The Dallas Stars moved one step closer to making the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Jamie Benn scored the game-deciding goal in a shootout to lead Dallas to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

"We're just playing simple hockey and coming together as a group to win these games and that's what we need right now," Benn said. "Definitely coming down the stretch, we need as many points as we can get and we're getting them."

Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist in regulation and also scored in the shootout for the Stars (35-26-5), who have gone 6-0-1 in their past seven games to climb to seventh spot in the Western Conference.

"We haven't been in the playoffs for a couple years," Eriksson said. "Definitely we need to step up here. We've been playing really well lately. It's so tight in the conference. Every game is huge for us. We need to win every one here, so we have to keep going."

Michael Ryder also scored for Dallas. Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves in the Stars' net to record his 26th win of the season and he drew an assist on Eriksson's short-handed goal in the second period.

"It was an exciting game and more work than last game against the Oilers," said Lehtonen, who made 19 saves Friday night in a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Lehtonen gave credit to the Flames (29-25-12) for pushing hard to tie the game to force overtime and the shootout.

"These guys came really hard and there was a lot on the line," he said. "That just makes it more exciting. When you're able to help your team it feels good. Hopefully we can keep doing that."

Curtis Glencross and Jarome Iginla scored for the Flames, who have lost two straight and three of their past four.

"It hasn't been easy losing those shootout games," said Iginla in regards to Calgary's 3-7 record in shootouts this season. "I honestly do feel they can go either way. We need to keep going, moving forward and work on getting the next game."

By gaining a point, the Flames are now three points behind the San Jose Sharks (33-24-7) for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

"We've been walking a fine line," said defenceman Cory Sarich. "We've done a lot of really good things, but then it's the couple mistakes that bite you and then it's kind of back to square one. We're trying our best to make sure we tip on the right side of that line. It's been a bit of a struggle."

Miikka Kiprusoff, who received a rare night off on Friday when Leland Irving was in net for Calgary's 3-2 road loss to the Anaheim Ducks, stopped 38 shots.

Just past the four minute mark of the opening frame, the line of Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Michael Cammalleri hemmed the Stars into their own zone and produced several good scoring chances. Lehtonen turned aside consecutive shots by Tanguay, Sarich, Cammalleri and Iginla to keep the game scoreless. …

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