‘Canes fall to Stars in OT, but clinch playoff berth

Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender James Reimer (47) is unable to stop the game-winning goal by Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn (14) during overtime of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 26, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

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DALLAS (WNCN) – Jani Hakanpaa, who was brought in largely to add an element of sandpaper to Carolina’s lineup, scored his second goal since joining the Hurricanes to tie Monday’s game against Dallas at 3-3 late in the third period, only for Jamie Benn to score in a 4-3 overtime win for the Stars.

Benn finished a 2-on-1 rush with Jason Robertson. Benn assisted on all three of Dallas’ regulation goals.

The Stars, who are pushing for the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division, had Joe Pavelski’s power-play goal put them on the scoreboard inside the first 90 seconds of the game. Jason Dickinson doubled the advantage with 3:01 left in the opening period.

Max McCormick’s first goal of the season cut the deficit in half past the midway point of the second. Morgan Geekie retrieved a dumped puck behind the Dallas goal and made a no-look feed behind his back. The puck bounced up in the air and McCormick was out in front to bat it past Jake Oettinger.

Three minutes later, Jaccob Slavin’s patience was rewarded when he lasered a wrist shot past Oettinger’s blocker side to tie the game. The deadlock was short lived, though, as Denis Gurianov scored about 30 seconds later to give Dallas a 3-2 advantage.

Hakanpaa’s goal was enough to earn the Hurricanes a point, which clinched their spot in the playoffs.

James Reimer made 27 stops on 31 shots in the loss.

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