Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett (93) moves the puck up ice as Dallas Stars' Antoine Roussel (21)

Pair of second period goals lifts Stars over Flames

Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars were ready for some time off after a tough start to the new year. They go into the All-Star break coming off a needed victory. Benn and Jason Spezza scored 80 seconds apart early in the second period, and the Stars held on for a 2-1 victory Monday night over the Calgary Flames, who came up empty on three consecutive power-play chances in the second period and two more after that stretch.

DALLAS — Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars were ready for some time off after a tough start to the new year. They go into the All-Star break coming off a needed victory.

Benn and Jason Spezza scored 80 seconds apart early in the second period, and the Stars held on for a 2-1 victory Monday night over the Calgary Flames, who came up empty on three consecutive power-play chances in the second period and two more after that stretch.

“It was a grind, but we got the job done. Things were going pretty good there until probably about halfway through the second, and a couple turnovers and three straight penalties and gave them momentum,” Benn said. “Antti (Niemi) made some big saves.”

The Stars won for only the third time in 11 games this month, closing out a 3-6-2 stretch after leading the Western Conference for much of the season.

“To go into the break with a win is a good thing, you can go in with a positive mindset. Then when we come out, we know that we’ve got work to do,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “If I had to pick a time to struggle, I would struggle now versus having us struggle near the end” of the season.

Dallas had allowed goals on five of its 11 previous penalty kills going into the game. But Calgary was 0 for 5 on the power play, including the final 9.4 seconds of the game when Flames goalie Karri Ramo was on the bench, giving them six skaters on the ice.

Niemi stopped two point-blank shots, among his 23 saves for the game, and the Stars survived a flurry of activity in front of the net on the first power play.

“We kind of woke up too late to play,” said Ramo, who had 28 saves. “Against a team like that, you have to start pushing right away.”

Benn’s 28th goal of the season came 2:43 into the second, with a little backhanded flip just off the right post. The goal was set up by Valeri Nichushkin’s pass, after he had skated behind the net to retrieve his own pass off the boards.

Then Spezza was off the left post behind Ramo after the goalie had skated up for another shot that was wide. The puck ended up on Spezza’s stick on the left side of the net with a wide open gap for his 17th goal and a 2-0 lead.

“I don’t think we’re satisfied with how things went after we had a two-goal lead, but we’ve had enough losses this month where we probably deserved a better fate and didn’t get it,” Spezza said.

]“Sometimes you’ve just got to hunker down and get saves from your goalie, and that’s what we did.”

Calgary, 2-5-1 its last eight games, got its only goal early in the third period when Jiri Hudler passed from behind the net to Joe Colborne. It was the seventh goal of the season for Colborne, who has goals in two straight after getting two in his previous 28 games.

“We can feel good about the effort,” coach Bob Hartley. “But it’s always the final result that matters and especially in our situation we need to get back up winning and climbing in the standings.”

Just Posted

Team Alberta takes wheelchair basketball gold

Team Alberta edges Team Ontario in 51-48 thriller

Biathlon women sweep the podium for second time

Biathlon women took top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race

Red Deer firefighter is recovering, thanks community for support

Firefighters who help together, stick together. Red Deer firefighter medic Ben Barthel… Continue reading

Petroleum producers speak to Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers brings recommendations

Science fair is around the corner

Central Alberta Rotary Science Fair happens March 29 and 30.

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Federal government set to develop code of conduct for sport in Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is developing a code of conduct for… Continue reading

Jay Baruchel has trained the dragon, now he’s letting go with ‘The Hidden World’

TORONTO — The first time actor Jay Baruchel stepped into a recording… Continue reading

Hockey ref says AC/DC support is giving him motivation in Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Enthusiastic AC/DC fan Steve McNeil says he’s feeling inspired to push even… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Most Read