SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Wyatt Johnston and Jason Robertson each scored twice, Jamie Benn added a goal and two assists, and the Dallas Stars beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Dallas took over sole possession of first place in the Central Division by two points over the Colorado Avalanche, who lost at home to Montreal.

“Now is the time of year where there’s not much more fine-tuning you can do,” Benn said. “You’ve got to be on top of your game and feeling good going into the playoffs. We’ve got 10 more (games) here to keep it solid.”

San Jose has dropped eight straight and 17 of 18.

The teams combined for six goals in the second period, with the Stars responding after the Sharks twice made it a one-goal game. Benn batted in the puck out of mid-air after it was deflected in front, then assisted on Johnston’s second goal of the game with a backhand flip pass on a give-and-go that put Johnston in alone on Mackenzie Blackwood. That gave Dallas a 5-3 lead heading into the third.

“(The Sharks) played hard and made us earn it, but we did what we were supposed to do,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said.

Benn extended his goal streak to five games, his longest since 2014. The 34-year-old Stars captain and the 20-year-old Johnston were all over the ice, teaming up on half of Dallas’ goals.

Johnston said the experience level on the team helped calm things down in the back-and-forth second period.

“We have a lot of veteran players who have played in so many games and been in so many different situations," Johnston said. “So I think we have that confidence to slow it down and obviously not try to force things."

Robertson made it 6-3 with a power-play goal in the third, his second of the night. He said everything seems to be clicking right now for the Stars.

“It’s encouraging to see and I think it’s contagious,” Robertson said. “You see one line do it properly, one D-pair do it properly, you just want to keep going out there and do it and do it and do it - and the results speak for itself.”

Mason Marchment also scored for the Stars. Alexander Barabanov, William Eklund and Klim Kostin had San Jose's goals.

Scott Wedgewood made 19 saves for Dallas. Blackwood stopped 35 shots for the Sharks.

“I didn’t like our physicality, or lack thereof,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “Two of the goals are clearly just getting beat 1-on-1. We’re better than that, and we have been better than that. But unfortunately we were slow closing in on people. I thought they just had way, way too much room all night.”

Johnston scored first for the Stars on a short-handed breakaway after Benn blocked a shot in the defensive zone.

Marchment gave Dallas a 2-0 lead heading into the second with a spectacular individual effort, deking Nico Sturm at center ice and skating around Kyle Burroughs before beating Blackwood.

Tyler Seguin was scratched for the Stars as a precaution. Seguin played in the last three games after missing the previous 11 with a lower-body injury.


Stars: Visit the Vancouver Canucks in a matchup of Western Conference division leaders Thursday night.

Sharks: Visit the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.



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