Jamie Benn wasn't about to let the Dallas Stars lose on the night they honored Brenden Morrow.
With the recently retired Stars captain watching after dropping the ceremonial face off, the Benn looked like the Art Ross winner he is with two beautiful goals and a secondary assist as the Stars defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 to move back into sole possession of the top spot in the Western Conference for now.
The Stars opened the game with a decided 6-1 advantage in shots, but then the Lightning took advantage of a bad pass from Cody Eakin and a worse break (if you're Dallas, at least) off Nikita Kucherov's skate, that turned a shot going three feet wide into the opening goal of the game.
But the Stars got some luck right back when Jason Spezza tried to toe-drag Ben Bishop on a 2-on-1 rush. Bishop managed the pokecheck, but instead of going back forward, the puck floated up and behind him, trickling into the back of the Lightning net.
The second period started off when Valeri Nichushkin made a nice speed play to catch up to Steven Stamkos but took a holding call in the process. Stamkos, playing in Tyler Seguin's favorite position on the power play, took advantage of a big rebound from Kari Lehtonen and bad forward coverage from the penalty kill to put home a rebound to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
Once again, though the Stars got it right back as the Lightning turned the puck over to Jamie Benn dead in the middle of their slot, and he made no mistake with a corner-picking shot.
A bad defensive shift from the forwards and some scrambly reactions from Kris Russel and Goligoski led to a long Lightning cycle late in the period, and they were able to cash in after a couple minutes of sustained zone time when Stamkos got away from Goligoski for a tap in at the net. Valeri Nichushkin, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza all missed chances to control and clear the puck earlier in the shift.
In the third period, the Lightning had their chances but the Stars led in early shots, and it was rookie Stephen Johns who finally cashed in with his first NHL goal on a point shot through a great screen from Tyler Seguin. That forward line then gave Dallas the lead with eight minutes remaining after a no-look centering pass from Cody Eakin found Jamie Benn in the slot for a nasty backhand to the far post.
It took quite a few anxious moments in the late third, though it should be noted the Lightning only had one shot on goal in the final 10 minutes of the game, but the Stars hung on to the lead to give Tampa just its second loss of the season when leading after two.