Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/24/14
Valeri Nichushkin was in the right place at the right time — twice — on Thursday night. Nichushkin scored two goals and Jamie Benn notched his 100th career goal and added three assists to lead the Dallas Stars to a 7-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nichushkin, a rookie, had his first two-goal game to bring his season total to 11 goals in 48 games. He deflected Benn's shot into the net for a 3-1 lead in the second period against Bernier, and put in a rebound in the third against Reimer. "It's funny how that works," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He got one off his skate when he was in the right spot, and he got a rebound when he was right in front. He has had some nice opportunities for him that haven't gone in." Nichushkin had been moved off the line with Benn and Seguin, and had complained of being fatigued. He had been a healthy scratch for the first time this season for games Saturday and Monday. "His energy is back up," Ruff said. Trevor Daley also scored in the second period while each team had only four skaters on the ice. "(Special teams have) been real important," Ruff said. "The power play has been really good, and we had a big kill when they could have gotten back in the game." Benn had given the Stars a short-lived 1-0 lead at 7:09 of the first period. His drive from the top of the slot went over Bernier and under the crossbar. Nichushkin had been moved off the line with Benn and Seguin, and had complained of being fatigued. He had been a healthy scratch for the first time this season for games Saturday and Monday. "His energy is back up," Ruff said. Trevor Daley also scored in the second period while each team had only four skaters on the ice. "(Special teams have) been real important," Ruff said. "The power play has been really good, and we had a big kill when they could have gotten back in the game." Benn had given the Stars a short-lived 1-0 lead at 7:09 of the first period. His drive from the top of the slot went over Bernier and under the crossbar. Thirty seconds later, Kulemin tied the game by deflecting a similar shot by teammate Carl Gunnarsson past Lehtonen.
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