Stars’ Jamie Benn suspended two games for Game 3 cross-check on Mark Stone

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On Wednesday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced a two-game suspension for Jamie Benn, the captain of the Dallas Stars. This disciplinary action was taken in response to Benn’s cross-check on Mark Stone, a forward for the Vegas Golden Knights, during Game 3 of the Western Conference final. Early in the game, Benn delivered a forceful cross-check to Stone’s head and neck area while he was in a vulnerable position on the ice. Benn received a five-minute major penalty and was ejected from the game, while Stone, fortunately, avoided injury and continued playing.

The Golden Knights took advantage of the power play resulting from Benn’s penalty, with Ivan Barbashev scoring to give them a 2-0 lead in the first period. Vegas went on to dominate the game, eventually winning 4-0 and securing a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Vegas head coach Bruce Cassidy expressed his disappointment with Benn’s dirty play but acknowledged that his team was able to capitalize on the penalty. He stated that while it was upsetting to witness such actions from the opposition’s captain, the penalty provided an opportunity for the Golden Knights to exact revenge.

Jonathan Marchessault, a forward for the Golden Knights, strongly criticized Benn’s actions, drawing comparisons to a suspension teammate Alex Pietrangelo had received for a slash during the previous round against the Edmonton Oilers. Marchessault described Benn’s cross-check as disgusting, emphasizing the impact on Stone’s head and expressing his satisfaction with the team’s execution on the ensuing power play.

Following the game, Stars head coach Pete DeBoer revealed that Benn regretted his actions and felt remorseful. DeBoer emphasized that Benn made a mistake and that nobody felt worse about it than the player himself.

Benn addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss the incident, admitting that he did not intend to receive a five-minute penalty. He attributed the high emotions and fast pace of the game to his actions, expressing his desire to avoid falling on Stone and explaining that he inadvertently used his stick as a point of contact.

It is worth noting that Benn had been fined in the previous postseason for tripping and high-sticking incidents during a series against the Los Angeles Kings, resulting in a total fine of $10,000.

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