Texas now leads the best-of-seven series, 3-games-to-2, with Game 6 slated to be played in Chicago on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Chicago outshot Texas 46-23, but Krahn’s 43 saves and Benn’s five points (3G, 2A), were the difference for the Stars. Right wing Anthony Stewart posted two goals for the Wolves, while right wing Tim Stapleton added the third tally with 91 seconds left in the game.
“We started the game off well, then we took stupid penalties and dug ourselves into a hole we couldn’t get out of,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “We didn’t quit though, and I hope we can take into Sunday.”
The Wolves power play got going early to put Chicago up, 1-0, 2:23 into the game. Center Matt Anderson sent a pass from the blueline down to right wing Joey Crabb low in the left face-off circle. Crabb slid a centering pass across to Stewart, parked at the top of the crease, and Stewart knocked it past Krahn.
A five-on-three power-play allowed Texas (7-2) to even things up, 1-1, at 9:40 of the first period. Benn held the puck low in the right circle before throwing it up the ice to Perttu Lindgren in the slot. Lingren slipped it right back and Benn roofed a shot over Wolves netminder Peter Mannino.
Benn potted his second of the game to put the Stars in front, 2-1, at 12:57 of the first period. The left wing dumped the puck into the Wolves zone and went to the net, while right wing Ray Sawada picked it up from the boards and passed it over to Benn in the crease for a quick flip by Mannino.
Texas pulled ahead, 3-1, with 31.7 seconds remaining in the first period. With each team skating four a side, Benn wristed a shot that knocked off Mannino’s mask and out to Dan Jancevski, who passed it across to Lindgren for a quick rip by the shaken netminder.
Benn completed a hat trick at 5:43 of the second period. Sawada carried the puck into Chicago’s end and passed it over to Benn, who ripped a shot over Mannino’s shoulder, sending the netminder to the bench in favor of back-up Drew MacIntyre.
Mannino (6-5) recorded 12 shots on 16 saves in 25:43 of action, while MacIntyre made six saves in 32:45 of relief duty.
Stewart broke the Wolves drought, 11:14 into the second frame with his team-leading eighth goal of the playoffs. Jason Krog backhanded a pass to Stewart at the top left of the crease and the forward broke through two Stars players to bang it past Krahn (6-2).
Stapleton scored with 91 seconds remaining in the game to put Chicago within striking distance, 4-3, when he picked up a rebound in the slot, spun around and roofed a shot up under the crossbar, but an empty net goal by Aaron Gagnon with 17 seconds left to play iced the win for Texas.
Chicago 1 1 1 -- 3
Texas 3 1 1 -- 5
First Period---1, Chicago, A. Stewart 7 (Crabb, Anderson), 2:23 pp; 2, Texas, Benn 5 (Lindgren, Hutchinson), 9:40 pp; 3, Texas, Benn 6 (Sawada, Fortunus), 12:57; 4, Texas, Lindgren 4 (Jancevski, Benn), 19:28. Penalties---Ludwig, Texas (high-sticking), 0:39; Crabb, Chicago (delay of game), 8:25; Kulda, Chicago (cross-checking), 9:01; Gagnon, Texas (tripping), 17:48; Stapleton, Chicago (cross-checking), 18:52.
Second Period---5, Texas, Benn 7 (Sawada), 5:43; 6, Chicago, A. Stewart 8 (Krog, Kozek), 11:14. Penalties---Ludwig, Texas (tripping), 3:36; Sterling, Chicago (roughing), 6:57; Ludwig, Texas (double-minor roughing), 6:57.
Third Period---7, Chicago, Stapleton 3 (Oystrick, Anderson), 18:29; 8, Gagnon 3 (Benn), 19:43 en. Penalties---None.
Shots on goal---Chicago: 11-20-15--46. Texas: 14-2-7--23. Power plays---Chicago: 1-4. Texas: 1-3. Goalies--Chicago, Mannino (12-16), replaced by MacIntyre (6-6) at 25:43. Texas, Krahn (43-46). A---5,112. Referee---Ghislain Herbert. Linesmen---Carl Sasyn and Frank Prestigiovanni.