RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson are developing quite a connection.
Benn scored twice, including a short-handed tally, and two of Eriksson's three assists came on his goals, leading the Dallas Stars to a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in the clubs' only meeting of the season Sunday.
``I think we're just feeding off each other and have got good chemistry out there,' said Benn, who has four goals this season while linemate Eriksson has seven assists. ``I think on and off the ice we've got good chemistry and it really helps on the ice.
``Our team wanted to come out here and have a good road game and keep it simple, and I thing we did that in the first.'
Dallas opened a four-game trip with its sixth victory in its last seven games against the Southeast Division.
Michael Ryder added a goal and an assist, and Erik Nystrom and Stephane Robidas had the other Dallas goals.
``We've got two real cerebral players (in Eriksson and Benn) and they just kind of feed off each other,' Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. ``They think the game so well, and I thing Loui's been underrated for years in the NHL. They're having a good streak right now.'
Chad LaRose and Tuomo Ruutu scored power-play goals for Carolina, which has dropped two straight games.
Kari Lehtonen had 30 saves to improve to 10-1-0. Carolina starter Cam Ward (5-4-2) stopped 10 of 14 shots before being pulled for Brian Boucher at 3:48 of the second with the Stars up 4-1.
``This is a physical man's game and we were trying to play on skill, and that's just not going to get it done for us,' visibly irritated Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. ``We were soft on pucks all over the ice, and lost every battle on pucks that got dumped in.
``There is no excuse. (But) we've played 13 games prior to this and haven't had a dog start to any of them, so it wasn't something that is a growing concern.'
Nystrom gave the Stars the lead on a rush at 5:20 of the first, beating Ward high and glove side from the left circle on Vernon Fiddler's assist from the high slot.
Robidas made it 2-0 on the power play at 12:55, scoring through traffic from the high slot.
LaRose came back with a power-play goal for Carolina at 13:18, backhanding the puck past Lehtonten stick side on Jeff Skinner's helper.
But Benn made it 3-1 at 19:32, receiving Eriksson's backhanded pass from behind the goal on the doorstep and slamming it past Ward stick side.
``We played really well today,' Eriksson said. ``We played really hard and got the two points. It's a good start to the road trip. We took too many penalties today (10), but I thought we did a good job and Kari was good for us again.'
NOTES: Dallas has won five of the last six games in the series. ... Benn has points in five straight games. ... The contest ended a three-game homestand for Carolina, which still has seven home games and five away the rest of the month. ... Stars C Steve Ott (lower body) missed his second straight game. ... Hurricanes LW Jussi Jokinen (lower body) missed his second straight game.
The Associated Press News Service
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