Jamie Benn collected his second hat trick of the week to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings in NHL action Saturday night in Los Angeles.
While the victory for the Stars at Staples Center meant finishing the season on a positive note despite missing the playoffs, the loss keeps the Kings in a wild-card spot, and they will face the Pacific Division-champion Vegas Golden Knights in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With the Stars already leading 1-0, Benn netted his first of the night at 8:40 of the opening frame to double the lead. Esa Lindell’s point shot caromed off the end boards and bounded all the way to the front of the net, where Benn was on the spot to bat it out of the air and into the cage behind Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Benn’s second of the night came at 11:35 of the opening frame. Tyler Seguin knocked the puck off the stick of a Kings defender deep in offensive territory, and the ensuing scramble ended when Benn slid the biscuit into an open net.
Benn’s natural hat-trick marker came at 13:57 and made it a 4-0 lead. Off a rush, Benn raced through the slot and redirected a perfectly executed pass from Alex Radulov for his 36th goal of the season. Benn finished the season with seven goals in the last three games and a five-game point-scoring streak in which he collected eight goals and 10 points.
Devin Shore opened the scoring for Dallas with an unassisted marker seven minutes into the affair, first stripping the puck from Christian Folin just inside the Los Angeles blue line and then burying a backhand on his breakaway.
Radulov collected three assists for the Stars, while goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 34 shots in what will likely be his final game for Dallas. He’s a 34-year-old pending unrestricted free agent, and the Stars have hitched their goaltending future on Ben Bishop.
Alec Martinez scored both Los Angles goals in the second period, the first at 3:42 on a point-shot blast through more traffic than you’ll find on a California freeway during rush hour, and the second with a one-timer of a cross-ice pass from Michael Amadio at the 12:27 mark.
Quick stopped 14 of 18 shots.
—Field Level Media