Complete – March 31, 2016 – 8:30 PM ET – American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas – Attendance: 18,532 – Duration: 2 Hours, 28 Minutes
Linesman #90 Andy McElman
Linesman #86 Brad Lazarowich
Referee #49 T.J. Luxmore
Referee #3 Mike Leggo
Skater Stats
LWJordan Martinook10000-2019:54
LWMax Domi101001017:59
LWAnthony Duclair401001016:24
LWAlex Tanguay10000-1015:00
LWJiri Sekac00000000:00
LWSergei Plotnikov00000000:00
CAntoine Vermette20000-1216:29
CKyle Chipchura200000013:44
CBoyd Gordon100000011:44
CMartin Hanzal21000105:41
RWShane Doan40000-2017:32
RWBrad Richardson20000-2216:49
RWTobias Rieder10000-1015:05
RWEric Selleck10000059:33
RWViktor Tikhonov00000000:00
DKevin Connauton30000-2022:59
DZbynek Michalek10000-2022:01
DConnor Murphy300000021:14
DNicklas Grossmann100000219:00
DKlas Dahlbeck000000016:10
DAlex Grant200000514:08
DOliver Ekman-Larsson00000000:00
DMichael Stone00000000:00
Skater Stats
LWJamie Benn211001218:20
LWPatrick Sharp510100016:07
LWAntoine Roussel101000014:19
LWVernon Fiddler200001012:21
CCody Eakin100000016:29
CJason Spezza100000015:20
CRadek Faksa310001015:14
CMattias Janmark000000013:16
CColton Sceviour00100179:58
RWValeri Nichushkin10000-1015:51
RWPatrick Eaves610001014:35
RWAles Hemsky402002013:25
DAlex Goligoski000003024:28
DJohn Klingberg102003022:48
DJohnny Oduya10000-1020:13
DStephen Johns10000-1017:03
DPatrik Nemeth200000216:39
DJordie Benn200000514:34
Goalie Stats
GMike Smith3232990.6358:59
GLouis Domingue00000:00
Goalie Stats
GAntti Niemi3213196.8859:24
GKari Lehtonen00000:00
Period 1
Penalty on Brad Richardson: 2 minutes for Interference
Penalty on Antoine Vermette: 2 minutes for Roughing
Penalty on Jamie Benn: 2 minutes for Boarding
Goal scored by Martin Hanzal
Assisted by: Max Domi and Anthony Duclair
Goal scored by Patrick Eaves
Period 2
Goal scored by Radek Faksa
Assisted by: Ales Hemsky and Antoine Roussel
Goal scored by Jamie Benn
Assisted by: Ales Hemsky
Penalty on Patrik Nemeth: 2 minutes for Delay of game
Penalty on Alex Grant: 5 minutes for Fighting
Penalty on Colton Sceviour: 5 minutes for Fighting
Penalty on Colton Sceviour: 2 minutes for Roughing
Period 3
Penalty on Nicklas Grossmann: 2 minutes for Slashing
Penalty on Eric Selleck: 5 minutes for Fighting
Penalty on Jordie Benn: 5 minutes for Fighting
Penalty on Bench: 2 minutes for Too many men on ice
Goal scored by Patrick Sharp (Power Play, Empty Net)
Assisted by: John Klingberg and Jamie Benn
Stars officially eliminate Coyotes, Benn hits milestone

DALLAS — Much like Mike Modano was during his long, successful run with the Dallas Stars, current captain Jamie Benn is the face of the franchise.

On Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes, Benn scored his 40th goal of the season and Antti Niemi stopped 30 of 31 shots in a 4-1 win.

Benn is Dallas’ first 40-goal scorer since Modano scored 50 during the 1993-94 season, the Stars’ first in Dallas after relocating from Minnesota.

“It means I’ve got good linemates and good teammates,” Benn said. “They’re setting me up 40 times, I guess.”

Dallas (47-22-9), which won for the sixth time in its past seven games, also got goals from Patrick Eaves, Radek Faksa and Patrick Sharp. Ales Hemsky and John Klingberg had two assists each.

The Stars have 103 points, two ahead of St. Louis for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Arizona (34-36-7), which is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, got its lone goal from Martin Hanzal.

“Well, it’s mathematically (official) but it’s something that’s been hovering around us for a while, so it’s not as if it’s a shock,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “It’s unfortunate. From where we were last year, we’ve got growth started, so we’re moving in the right direction.”

Hanzal suffered an upper-body injury late in the first period and did not return to the ice.

Tippett said postgame that Hanzal had the same illness which also sidelined Oliver Ekman-Larsson and that both players will be further evaluated on Friday.

Mike Smith stopped 29 of 32 shots in a losing effort.

“I wasn’t quite as sharp as I’ve been and it showed at the end on the scoreboard,” Smith said.

Sharp scored an empty-net, power-play goal, his 20th of the season, with 1:11 remaining in regulation.

Arizona struck first when Hanzal scored on an easy tap-in in the slot 2:53 before the first intermission. The goal featured a great passing sequence between Anthony Duclair, who slipped a backhand pass to Max Domi in the slot. Domi then fed Hanzal for his 13th goal of the season.

“That was a good goal,” Tippett said. “We needed a special play if we were going to score and we got it, but unfortunately we gave it back right away. It was an uphill fight for us all night.”

Dallas answered less than a minute later when Eaves scored his 10th goal 1:55 prior to the first intermission. Eaves beat Smith through the five-hole with a wrist shot from the right circle.

The Stars took their first lead 11 seconds into the second period when Faksa scored his fourth goal of the season from the slot. Hemsky, who has 13 points over his past 12 games, sent a pass through the slot from behind the Arizona goal.

Antoine Roussel whiffed on his shot attempt, but Faksa flicked the puck into the net to make it 2-1.

“He’s been pretty consistent all year,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Hemsky. “His compete for most of the year has been excellent, and I think he’s getting rewarded on the points side. Sometimes the points come to you, sometimes they don’t. They’re starting to come. He’s in the right place, and it’s good to see.”

Benn gave the Stars a two-goal edge at 3-1 at 10:43 of the second period. Benn, second in the NHL in goals, scored with a wrist shot from the right circle that traveled in under Smith’s left shoulder.

“He can do it with skill, he can do it with power. He’s got a great shot. He gets around the net, he gets tips and rebounds. I think the reason he’s scored that many is because he scores goals a lot of different ways,” Ruff said of Benn.

Benn is second in the NHL with 87 points, equaling his career high set last season when he lead won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s points leader.

NOTES: The Coyotes scratched D Oliver Ekman-Larsson (illness), LW Sergei Plotnikov, LW Jiri Sekac, D Michael Stone (knee) and RW Viktor Tikhonov. Ekman-Larsson was expected to play but did not come out for pregame warmups. … The Stars scratched D Jason Demers (shoulder), LW Travis Moen, D Jamie Oleksiak, RW Brett Ritchie (lower body), D Kris Russell (lower body) and C Tyler Seguin (Achilles). … Coyotes LW Eric Selleck made his NHL debut. He was recalled Wednesday from Springfield, where he had 32 points (22 assists) in 59 games for the AHL team. … Stars G Antti Niemi appeared in his 46th game of the season. … Coyotes D Alex Grant made his Phoenix debut. He appeared in two games with Anaheim during the 2013-14 season. … Coyotes coach Dave Tippett made the morning skate optional on Thursday. … Stars coach Lindy Ruff held an optional practice on Wednesday.

Coyotes acquire D Goligoski in trade

The Dallas Stars traded defenseman Alex Goligoski to the Arizona Coyotes for a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft in Thursday.

Goligoski, a pending free agent, can discuss a new contract with the Coyotes until July 1. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement by then, Goligoski becomes an unrestricted free agent.

The Stars now have six picks in the draft, adding the 128th overall from the Coyotes in the trade.

The 30-year-old Goligoski finished last season with five goals, 32 assists and 34 penalty minutes in 82 regular-season games. He added four goals and three assists in 13 playoff games.

In 562 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas, Goligoski has 55 goals and 222 assists.

“A leader both on and off the ice, Alex has played an integral role in the development of our young defensemen into NHL-caliber players,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said. “His versatility over the past six seasons has helped shape this team into what it is today.”

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