Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn needed four points to win the Art Ross Trophy. (USATSI)
Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn needed four points to win the Art Ross Trophy. (USATSI)

The Dallas Stars are not going to the playoffs this season, but they can at least say that they have the NHL's leading scorer in Jamie Benn.

And he definitely earned it. 

Benn recorded a hat trick and added an assist in the Stars' 4-1 victory against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night to finish wih 87 points, one point ahead of New York Islanders forward John Tavares, to claim his first Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer.

But what is truly incredible about Benn winning the scoring crown is that he needed to record two points in the final three minutes of the game to win it. Trailing Tavares, who recorded two points in the Islanders' shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, by a single point, Benn completed his hat trick by scoring an empty net goal with 2:05 to play in regulation to move into a tie with Tavares with 86 points.

But because Tavares scored more goals during the season he owned the tiebreaker for the Art Ross Trophy, so Benn was still going to need one more point.

And he got it with nine seconds to play when he assisted on Cody Eakin's 19th goal of the season.

It was an great individual effort by Benn on Saturday, especially without his regular linemate, Tyler Seguin, who was a healthy scratch after showing up late to practice on Friday. He also finished the regular season with 23 points in his last 12 games, including four games with at least three points over the final five games of the regular season.

Given the current goal scoring climate in the NHL, it's not a surprise to see the league's leading scorer fail to top the 90-point mark, but it's still the first time that has happened in a non-lockout season since Stan Mikita won it with 87 points during the 1967-68 season.

If you were to pick a Stars player as a favorite to win the award at the start of the season, Seguin probably would have been the popular choice and had he not missed 11 games due to injury he would have had a legitimate shot at it. His points per game pace would have given him 87 for the year. The same is true for Pittsburgh forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who finished the season, Chicago forward Patrick Kane and even Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk, all of whom finished in the top-seven in points per game but missed extended time due to injury.

Benn is the first Stars player to ever lead the league in scoring.