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Benn's shootout goal give Stars win

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- Jamie Benn admitted he was fortunate to score the deciding goal Sunday at Canadian Tire Centre.

"I kind of got lucky," the Dallas Stars captain said of his shootout winner. "The puck kind of rolled on me ... (then) I found an open area."

There were all sorts of weird bounces in the Stars' 4-3 victory that snapped Dallas' losing streak at two games and extended the Ottawa Senators run of losses to five.

It does, however, look like the Senators will not lose goalie Craig Anderson for a long stretch of time. Anderson left the game on a stretcher with 3:16 left in overtime after Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin fell on him while cutting through the crease.

"He's got a stiff neck," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "He's going to get some further evaluations but everything else is fine except for that. We'll let the doctors evaluate him and we'll have a better assessment (Monday)."

The game was tied 2-2 early in the third period when Senators rookie defenseman Mark Borowiecki, playing his first game in the NHL this season and just the ninth of his career, inadvertently shot the puck between the legs of Anderson. The goal was credited to Stars enforcer Antoine Roussel, giving him his first of the season.

"Teaches you a little humility, I guess," Borowiecki said. "The guys were saying you're a lucky guy if you can get through your career without having one of those. It's going to happen."

Borowiecki was spared the disgrace of his own goal when Bobby Ryan sent the game into overtime with just 9.6 seconds left in regulation on a shot that saw his stick snap in half.

"I can't remember the last time I got a bounce like that," Ryan said. "I think it actually helps because he was predicting a high shot and I truthfully wasn't aiming, I was just trying to label one. He had my number tonight, so I was just trying to pound one through. I'll take a knuckleball goal, absolutely."

The Senators were trailing 2-0 early in the second period when Chris Neil took a double minor for high sticking Brenden Dillon at 2:57 of the second period. Successfully killing the four minutes of shorthanded time gave Ottawa a lift.

Less than a minute after Neil stepped out of the box, Erik Karlsson finished off a 3-on-1 rush with his fourth goal of the season. Nine minutes later with the Senators on the power play, Jason Spezza's eighth of the campaign tied the game.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made amends by stopping Milan Michalek, Spezza and Ryan in the shootout.

"I had a little rough shootout the last time, maybe a week ago, so I really wanted to be more patient," said Lehtonen, who stopped 33 shots through three periods and overtime. "We had a pretty good game plan, watching what things they like to do. Today it worked. It's just like rolling the dice. Sometimes you're able to make the saves, and sometimes not."

The win started a three-game road trip on the right foot for the Stars, who are 6-6-2 on the season. The Senators, who have lost five home games in a row, are 4-6-4.

"It wasn't an easy two points," Benn said. "We didn't really help ourselves out too much."

MacLean was happy with the way his team started the game, despite the fact the Senators were down 2-0 at the end of one.

"We made a couple of mistakes that ended up in our net but I thought again we dug in and found a way to get something out of our game," he said.

Notes: Stars RW Ray Whitney scored his first goal of the season in the opening period. The 41-year-old has 377 in his career, putting him 106th on the league's all-time list. ... Scoring the first goal of his NHL career was Dallas RW Valeri Nichuskin, the 10th overall pick of the 2013 draft. ... Senators C Kyle Turris has become a fixture as the left point man on the first-unit power play. From that position he assisted on Jason Spezza's goal with Ottawa enjoying a man advantage in the second. ... The Senators callup of Binghamton captain Mark Borowiecki made veteran D Joe Corvo and second-year D Eric Gryba healthy scratches.
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