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Benn: Stars have ‘no excuses’ after drubbing by Preds

Dallas Stars v Nashville Predators

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 20: Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars skates with the puck as Craig Smith #15 of the Nashville Predators chases during a NHL game at Bridgestone Arena on January 20, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

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The Dallas Stars might have lost their season-opener against Chicago, but they gave the Blackhawks all they could handle. Perhaps that explains Jamie Benn’s disappointed reaction after the Nashville Predators overwhelmed his team 4-1 on Saturday.

Benn admitted that he was part of the problem, too, as the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika reports.

“We have no excuses in here,” Benn said. “It starts from the top and I could have been the worst player out there tonight.”

The numbers argue that the 25-year-old wasn’t the Stars’ worst player by any means, yet despite the team’s strides this offseason, the bottom line is that they need him to be dominant. Head coach Lindy Ruff backed that thought up.

“We haven’t found it yet,” Ruff said. “I think our top guys have struggled and it’s probably hurt us more than anything and if they’re going well, we’re going to win and they’ve struggled. They’ve had a little bit of a tough preseason and I think we’re seeing a little bit of that still now.”

The Predators’ superior play stands out whether you judge things through a traditional or “fancy” prism. Nashville took the shot advantage in every period tonight, and they really poured it on in the final two periods. Overall, they out-shot the Stars 33-18, including 26-13 in the final 40 minutes.

It’s early, but some won’t be able to resist noting that while the Stars drew all the hype as a Central Division team on the rise, they’re 0-1-1 while the Predators are 2-0-0 under new head coach Peter Laviolette.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins