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, Texas (AP) — Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites ripped captain Jamie Benn and fellow high-priced forward Tyler Seguin, telling reporters Friday their play has been “terrible” and saying owner Tom Gaglardi was frustrated as well.Lites requested the interviews, saying he believed Seguin and Benn deserved more public criticism with a team Lites says is underachieving. Dallas started the day holding the final playoff spot in the Western Conference but has expectations of a higher finish.The longtime Stars executive told The Athletic that the Stars would be in danger of missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons without better play from Benn and Seguin. Lites told The Dallas Morning News both players “think it’s easy, and that’s what bothers me.”Benn signed an eight-year, $76 million contract in July 2016, and Seguin signed an eight-year, $79 million extension before this season that kicks in next year.Seguin and Benn are the team’s top two scorers with 32 and 30 points respectively in 38 games. Seguin leads with 21 assists, Benn with 15 goals.But neither is in the top 50 in the NHL in points after both finished at least among the 20 best their first four years together before that run ended last season. Benn led the league in points in 2014-15.“We don’t question their desire to win, but they think it’s easy, and that’s what bothers me www.officialflames.com
,” Lites told the Dallas newspaper. “There’s just too much complacency in their games. Lack of attention to detail, and that’s what we need. Accountability and attention to detail and hard work.”Both players said they needed to improve after being told by The Athletic that Lites was critical of them.“Not good enough,” Seguin told The Athletic. “I’m trying to do a job, and I haven’t had the right results.”Said Benn, “I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. If this team wants to get to the next level, that starts with myself.”No player in the league has hit more posts and crossbars combined than Seguin. That’s no excuse to Lites.“He’s hitting posts, ‘wah-wah.’ That’s what I say about hitting posts,” Lites told The Athletic. “Get a little bit closer to the action, actually go to the spot where you score goals. He doesn’t do that, he never does that anymore. He used to be a pest to play against Calgary Flames T-Shirts Authentic
, people hated playing against Tyler Seguin. They don’t anymore.”Lites told The Athletic that Gaglardi expressed frustration over the play of Seguin and Benn as recently as during a 2-0 win at Nashville on Thursday, when goalie Anton Khudobin set a club record in a shutout with 49 saves.The Stars have become one of the better defensive teams under first-year coach Jim Montgomery after years of struggling at the blue line. But now they’re in the bottom third of the league in scoring.“The owner and I see this the same way,” Lites told the Morning News. “We expect our best players to perform like other team’s best players. Game in, game out, the best players on other teams are outplaying the best players on our team.” RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Cam Atkinson anchored a top line that caused the Carolina Hurricanes fits Saturday night as the Columbus Blue Jackets won 4-1 for their fifth victory in six games.Atkinson scored three goals and assisted on another, and fellow winger Artemi Panarin assisted on all of Atkinson’s goals. Columbus center Pierre-Luc Dubois added two assists as Atkinson stretched his goal-scoring streak to six games.“For all we talk about our balanced scoring, it’s nice to have that one line that can do what they did tonight and really take a game over,” said Blue Jackets assistant coach Brad Shaw, who spoke to the media after the game because head coach John Tortorella was ill.The Blue Jackets (12-6-2) broke a six-game skid against Metropolitan Division rival Carolina (8-8-3). Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots to earn the win.Sebastian Aho scored his sixth goal of the season 6:05 into the second period for the Hurricanes Calgary Flames Hoodies Authentic
, cutting their deficit to 2-1 with a wraparound that slid just inside the far post. Just 1:17 later, Atkinson backhanded a pass to Zach Werenski in the slot for a wrister that beat Scott Darling on the glove side.“It wasn’t the goalie’s fault,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We were giving point-blank shots up and you can’t do that in this league.”Atkinson completed his fifth career hat trick 3:58 later on a power play with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle to the left of Darling, increasing Columbus’ lead to 4-1. Atkinson has six of his team-high 12 goals in the last four games.“He’s an easy guy to put on the ice right now,” Shaw said. “He’s not just scoring, he’s a big part of our penalty kill as well.”Panarin leads the Blue Jackets with 16 assists and 21 points. Atkinson has 20 points, and Dubois is next with 17 for Columbus, which played penalty-free hockey for the first 34 minutes.Bobrovsky preserved the three-goal lead by stopping Jordan Martinook on a breakaway while Carolina was short-handed early in the third period. Later, Dougie Hamilton clanged a shot off the far post behind Bobrovsky.“When you think of his best five or six saves, they were all 10-bell saves Calgary Flames Hats Authentic
,” Shaw said, “and they all either keep us in the game or keep them frustrated and let us feel good about what we’re doing out there. He can make a huge impact in games, and he’s certainly done that for us lately.”Brind’Amour said he hadn’t been upset with his team’s effort all season, but he wasn’t happy Saturday. Carolina had three days off before this game.“It came down to us playing a good team and they won all the puck battles,” he said. “They were first to everything and they played like a first-place team and we didn’t have the desperation that we needed to, and that was frustrating.”The Hurricanes are 2-5-2 in their last nine games. Columbus’ only loss in the past 13 days came in a shootout against the New York Rangers last Saturday.The Blue Jackets killed off all three Carolina power plays, including two late in the second period after Columbus was called for delay of game and too many men on the ice.NOTES: Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno was scratched because of a personal matter. … Columbus has scored at least four goals in three of its last four games. … Aho extended his point streak to four games. … This was the third game of a six-game homestand for Carolina.UP NEXTBlue Jackets: At Toronto on Monday night.Hurricanes: Host New Jersey on Sunday.