Jamie Benn scored a hat trick, including the game-winner with 3:06 to play and an empty netter with 24 seconds left, as the Dallas Stars came from behind in the final six minutes to defeat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Tuesday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
Benn picked the pocket of Tomas Hertl in the San Jose zone and skated into the slot before going to his backhand to beat San Jose goaltender Martin Jones with the deciding goal.
The Sharks, who clinched a playoff berth when Los Angeles defeated Colorado 3-1 on Monday, hold onto second-place spot in the Pacific Division by two points over the Kings and by three over Anaheim. San Jose, which has lost four straight matches, will garner home-ice advantage for the first round of the Western Conference playoffs if it holds onto its current position.
Dallas was eliminated from playoff contention Sunday. The Stars have missed the playoffs in eight of the last 10 seasons.
Logan Couture turned a pass from Brent Burns into a power-play goal on a viscous wrist shot at the 9:21 mark of the first period to hand the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Hertl also got an assist on the score.
Timo Meier expanded the lead to 2-0 as he chased down a loose puck and fired a shot from a tough angle past Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen with 4:44 to play in the opening period. Assists on the goal went to Burns and Joe Pavelski.
Dallas cut the lead in half with just 31 seconds to play in the second period on goal by Benn, who cut to the back door and redirected a pass from John Klingberg to register his 30th goal of the season. Tyler Seguin also assisted on the play.
Gemel Smith tied the match with 5:15 to play in regulation off an across-the-slot pass from Devin Shore.
Lehtonen made his eighth straight start for the Stars but was injured and replaced by Mike McKenna, who stopped all 17 shots he faced.
The Sharks host Colorado on Thursday before closing the season on Saturday at home against Minnesota. Dallas finishes its season with games in Anaheim on Friday and Los Angeles on Saturday.
—Field Level Media