DALLAS (AP) — Jamie Benn didn’t even need to put the puck in the net to complete his sixth career hat trick on Tuesday night.
Benn, who scored a goal in each of the first two periods, was awarded his third when the Dallas captain was pulled down while heading toward an empty net late in the Stars’ 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
More than the usual number of hats were tossed onto the ice after Benn’s third goal. Fans received Stars-logo camouflage baseball caps in a Military Appreciation Night promotion.
“However many military hats were thrown on the ice,” Benn said, “I’m sorry for the fans not taking those home. But it felt good.”
The players also had military-themed tape for the game.
“So I decided to use it,” Benn said. “I might have to keep it around a little longer.”
Benn scored the game’s first goal in the first period, added a power-play tally in the second and was credited with his third with 1:19 to play when he was hauled down by Andrei Svechnikov of the Hurricanes on the way to shooting at an open net.
The score was tied 1-all before Denis Gurianov and Benn scored 2:30 apart in the second on a recently potent Stars power play.
Dallas has at least one power-play goal in five straight games. During that time, the Stars have seven goals with the man advantage — two each by Benn and Gurianov.
Sebastian Aho scored for Carolina in the first period against Anton Khudobin, who made 24 saves for his third straight win.
Miro Heiskanen assisted on the first two Dallas goals.
The Stars are 4-1-1 in the last six games.
Carolina missed a chance to move into position for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference.
Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots, equaling his season high.
Carolina had the first shot on goal 26 seconds into the game but didn’t get another for more than 10 minutes.
In the meantime, Dallas put seven shots on Mrazek, including Benn’s first goal, which came on a 4-on-2 break. Stephen Johns passed from the right circle to Benn low in the left circle for a snap shot between Mrazek and the left post at 7:54.
The Hurricanes didn’t score on their only power play in the first period. But five seconds after it ended, Aho sent a wrist shot from the slot into the net at 17:38. That sent the teams into the first intermission tied at 1.
“I just tried to get the quick shot,” Aho said.
Gurianov gave the Stars another one-goal lead with a slap shot from the right circle at 12:36 of the second period.
“Miro did a good job of passing me the puck,” Gurianov said, “and I just shot it trying to hit the net. I’ve been working on that shot for a long time.”
The puck hit with such force that it broke Mrazek’s water bottle when it flew off the top of the net.
Benn added his second goal of the game on another power play at 15:06. Tyler Seguin passed from behind the net to Benn in the slot, and he lifted the puck into the upper left corner.
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