Forward Jamie Benn off to high-flying start with first-place Dallas Stars

John Raffel – AHN Sports Correspondent

Detroit, MI, United States (AHN Sports) – The Dallas Stars have been winning so much lately that forward Jamie Benn wasn’t about to panic over the fact that a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings Saturday has his team in a two-game losing streak.

The Stars still came out of Detroit with an 11-5 record that has Dallas battling Chicago for the points lead in the Western Conference. Dallas is in first place in the Pacific Division.

“(Detroit) controlled the puck pretty good down low,” Benn said. “They’re a pretty good team. You have to give them credit. They played a good team game and put the pucks in the net.”

Dallas won six of its first seven games to open the season and put together a five-game winning streak. Prior to Friday’s 3-1 loss to Pittsbugh, the Stars had also put together a four-game winning streak.

“We can clean up in a couple of areas,” Benn said. “We have to get back to hard work and do the simple things.”

Benn meanwhile, is off to a highflying start in the early stages of the season. He assisted on a goal against Detroit and now has five goals and 14 assists for a team-leading 19 points.

“We keep it simple and do the right things and play a good team game,” Benn said. “That’s what you need to be successful. That’s what’s done it for us so far this year.”

In the loss to Detroit, the Stars were outshot 40-27 by Detroit. Goalie Andrew Raycroft picked up 35 saves.

“He played a great game,” Benn said. “But we gave up too many shots to a good team. It’s something we can clean up.”

His contract expires at the end of this season but Benn has been putting up some impressive numbers to back his status as one of the most valuable players on the Stars roster. His name is also on the 2012 NHL All-Star Game ballot.

Benn has points in seven of his last eight games with three goals, nine assists and 12 points. He has scored points in 10 of his last 12 games with four goals, 13 assists and 17 points.

Benn became the only player in Dallas Stars history to register his 100th career point before his 23rd birthday. He was 22 years old and 89 days old on Oct. 15 when he did the trick against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For his career, Benn has 49 goals and 67 assists for 116 points, plus nine power-play goals, five shorthanded goals and eight game-winning goals. Last season, he recorded 22 goals, 34 assists and 56 points in 69 games.

Dallas has eight separate players that have registered a game-winning goal this season, tied for the most of any team in the NHL.

The Stars, trying to exert themselves as Stanley Cup contenders, were 2-2 on the road trip which ended in Detroit.

“We’ll take it,” Benn said. ” But we want to win every game. It didn’t happen on this road trip. But two out of four is all right, I guess.”

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