Jamie Benn putting the Stars on his broad shoulders

Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars celebrates after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks in the first...

Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars celebrates after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period in Game 3 at American Airlines Center on April 21, 2014. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:25 PM ET

If you were looking for bulletin-board material to spice up Sunday’s Game 6 at American Airlines Center, Anaheim Ducks stalwart Corey Perry wasn’t providing.

On his reaction to Ryan Garbutt’s cheap-shot spear in Game 5 or the $1,474.36 US fine assessed Saturday to the Dallas Stars irritant? Not going there.

On Stars captain Jamie Benn, who will try to carry the wild-card crew on his broad shoulders (again) in Sunday’s must-win contest against the Ducks in the Big D? Nothing but praise.

“He’s a hell of player,” Perry said. “When you’ve got size, you’ve got speed, you’ve got skill ... Put it all together and you’ve got Jamie Benn.

“He’s the all-around player that you want on your team.”

Heading into Sunday’s Game 6, the Stars could use a few carbon-copies — even reasonable facsimiles would do in a pinch — of their emerging superstar.

The 24-year-old left-winger not only leads his squad with four snipes in five playoff games so far, he’s also leading by example with his discipline and determination.

And yet, the Stars are teetering on the brink of elimination, trailing 3-2 in this best-of-seven series after Friday’s 6-2 setback to the Pacific Division champions at Honda Center.

“You can’t ask for anything more than what (Benn) has given us,” Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said.

So where does the “more” come from?

Although Ruff was complimentary of Benn’s sidekick, the truth is the Stars need more finish from centre Tyler Seguin, who tied for fifth in the NHL’s goal-scoring race with 37 tallies during the regular season, but has found the back of the net with just one of 23 shots on net so far this spring.

They need more discipline from Garbutt, who earned a five-minute major in the first period of Friday’s game for spearing Perry in the groin. Garbutt was forced Saturday to fork over a half-day of salary, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

They also need more discipline from winger Antoine Roussel, who is growing into his role as an ultimate pain-in-the-you-know-what, but didn’t toe that line very effectively Friday, racking up 16 penalty minutes and watching the Ducks’ first of four power-play tallies from the sin-bin.

“(Benn) has definitely raised his level. I’ve told the players, it takes more than just a regular effort to win in the playoffs, because everybody kind of goes above and beyond,” Ruff said after Saturday’s flight to Dallas. “We need a couple of guys to step up to the beyond part. It isn’t many, but there’s a couple. We have a bit of hit-and-miss, which is consistent with a young team.”

We’ll find out Sunday — and again Tuesday, if they can force a seventh game back at Honda Center — if Benn has more beyond to offer.

If the Stars don’t survive Game 6, nobody is going to blame the 6-foot-2, 210-lb. winger for the first-round ouster.

If the Stars can, however, win back-to-back tilts and knock off the top seeds in the Western Conference, you can bet he’ll be a big reason for it.

The book on Benn is that he’s at his best when the games mean the most.

As a member of the Kelowna Rockets, he won the Western Hockey League’s playoff scoring crown in 2009 and then tied for the points lead at the Memorial Cup.

In the spring of 2010, he was a go-to guy for the AHL’s Texas Stars, leading Dallas’ farm club to the Calder Cup final and finishing second on the post-season point charts.

He muscled his way this winter onto Hockey Canada’s radar for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, not only cracking the roster, but forcing the coaching staff to increase his role.

Could Sunday’s Game 6 be his next big moment?

“I haven’t really been part of an elimination game yet,” Benn said Saturday with a shrug. “I’m just going to go out there and keep doing the same things that I’ve been doing.”

WHEN FEELING GOOD IS BAD NEWS

As if Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf didn’t already have enough to worry about, he might have to watch his back for his own teammates now.

Getzlaf matched his career-high with a three-point performance in Friday’s 6-2 victory over the Dallas Stars at Honda Center in Anaheim, not bad for a guy who has been bothered by an upper-body injury and wasn’t even a sure-thing to be available for Game 5.

“It seems like whenever he has a little injury or he’s dinged up, he plays his best hockey,” Ducks winger Andrew Cogliano said. “It’s tough for him, but it’s better for us.”

Getzlaf has been great for the Ducks in this series, with a team-leading seven points — three goals and four assists — despite missing Game 4 at American Airlines Center due to injury.

With an opportunity to finish off the Stars as the series shift back to Dallas for Sunday’s Game 6, the 28-year-old centre reported he was feeling good.

Hopefully, not too good ...

“When you do have things that are bugging you, others issue and stuff, for myself, I tend to be able to focus a little bit more,” Getzlaf said after hearing of Cogliano’s comments. “When I get to the rink, it’s kind of that happy place.” 


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