Benn scores twice in Stars win

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By RICK EYMER
Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Jamie Benn is making a late run for the NHL scoring lead. It won't be enough to take the sting off missing the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

Benn scored twice, Colton Sceviour scored in the first 30 seconds, and the Dallas Stars beat the San Jose Sharks 5-1 on a Monday night when both teams were eliminated from the playoff picture.

"There's not much to celebrate anymore," Benn said. "We didn't do our job this year and that's pretty much it."

Benn added an assist and has 80 points, moving into a three-way tie for second, one point behind Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby.

"He's not thinking about that," Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. "When you don't make the playoffs it's hard to care about personal stats."

The 25-year-old captain has done his best to keep Dallas in the playoff race. He has 16 points in his last 10 games and the Stars have won 12 of their past 17.

"It's tough thinking how many leads we blew in the third period," Benn said. "We thought we could outscore teams but we didn't play the way we should have. It's defense first and that's where we let down. We didn't play defense."

Patrick Eaves and Ryan Garbutt also scored for the Stars, who have won seven of their last eight road games and seven of 10 overall.

Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks, 5-9-2 in their past 13 home games. They failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03.

"We just weren't good enough throughout the season, collectively as a group and individually," the Sharks' Logan Couture said. "We were just not good enough throughout the year. That's basically what it was. We had stretches, but too many bad stretches where we just weren't good enough consistently."

The Sharks finished with a home record of 19-17-5. They were 29-7-5 at home last year.

"That's the reason why we're not going to play in the playoffs. That's a very frustrating thing," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "This building, for years and years, it was a pretty sacred place to play in as a home team, and we just didn't have that this year in our own building."

Jhonas Enroth stopped 23 of 24 shots to improve to 3-0 in four career appearances against the Sharks. Alex Stalock made 20 saves.

Sceviour, alone on the left side, scored when a rebound bounced straight to his stick off Stalock's pads.

Eaves connected a power-play late in the first period to make it 2-0. Shawn Horcoff's shot stayed in front of the net and Benn kept poking at it until Eaves found an opening.

Benn, who has 21 career multi-goal games, added a power-play goal midway through the second period.

"For a guy who started slow, he's put together a heck of a year," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.

Thornton scored on a breakaway six minutes later. But Benn added his second goal with just under five minutes remaining.

Garbutt's goal came as fans chanted "Fire Wilson," referring to Sharks GM Doug Wilson.

NOTES: Stars C Jason Spezza had his third multiple-point game in his last nine after failing to do so in the previous 11 ... Seguin extended his points streak to five games and has points in nine of 10 overall ... Thornton scored a goal in back-to-back games for the first time since last Nov. 11-13 ... Stars D Jason Demers, a former Shark, was credited with his 99th career assist ... Sharks C Joe Pavelski was selected the team's MVP and C Melker Karlsson was voted Rookie of the Year.


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