WINNIPEG — Jamie Benn scored twice, but it was another third period goal that the Dallas Stars were talking about after the game.
Benn’s 31st and 32nd goals of the season helped lift the Stars to a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night at MTS Centre.
Colton Sceviour broke a 2-2 tie at 12:29 of the third. After review, Sceviour’s shot was judged to have hit the camera behind Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec before ricocheting out.
“I thought the horn went off by accident,” Sceviour said. “All of us were kind of looking at each other, we had good possession, kind of trying to figure out what happened. And we came to the bench and they told us it went in. I was more shocked than anything.”
Benn put the Stars up 4-2 before Mark Scheifele pulled the Jets (25-30-4) within one a few moments later. Benn sealed the game with a empty netter with 15 seconds left in the third.
Jason Speeza and Valeri Nichushkin had the others for Dallas (38-17-6). John Klingberg tacked on three assists, while Antti Niemi made 22 saves.
“Obviously we have won a couple games against this team before so it gives you confidence,” Klingberg said. “We have a confident habit: if we just stick to our game plan, we will win the game.”
Alexander Burmistrov and Andrew Ladd also scored for Winnipeg. Pavelec turned aside 22-of-26 shots in net.
Ladd, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has been the target of rumours involving his departure as the NHL’s trade deadline approaches on Feb. 29.
“I guess it’s different for me because nothing is set in stone and you don’t know what’s going on,” Ladd said about the emotion of the game. “You’re still out there trying to play a hockey game but, obviously, appreciate the ovation after the goal.”
Dallas snapped a three-game winless skid with the win while Winnipeg’s winless streak extended to four.
The Stars’ seventh-ranked power play went to work early in the first period and produced a result just seven seconds into Paul Postma’s interference minor. Tyler Seguin directed a low shot on goal, but the puck caromed off the skate of Dustin Byfuglien and onto the stick of Spezza, who fired his 19th past Pavelec for the 1-0 lead at 7:15.
After failing to find a result on seven first-period shots, the Jets tied the game with their first shot of the second period.
Drew Stafford’s initial shot was blocked in front of Niemi, but the puck squirted onto the stick of Burmistrov, who shovelled a backhand shot to tie the game at 3:28. The assist was the 200th of Stafford’s career.
Dallas restored their lead at 8:14 as Nichushkin wired home an unstoppable shot from in close after picking up his own rebound.
A pair of two-on-one rushes by Winnipeg while shorthanded resulted in the tying goal late in the second.
The Stars thwarted the first rush from Byfuglien and Joel Armia thanks to an impressive stick check by Klingberg. But 20 seconds later the Jets were back, this time with Byfuglien, who fed Ladd in front to make it 2-2 at 16:14.
“If that’s a Game 7 we’re going to talk about three posts,” Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said of his team’s shortcomings. “But, you know, we made some mistakes that we won’t â€¦ that we will grow out of. We turned some pucks over that ended up in our net that we didn’t need to.”