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Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn suspended two games for cross-checking Mark Stone

The Dallas Stars will be without their captain as they try to stay alive in the Western Conference final after Jamie Benn was suspended for two games.

Benn received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for cross-checking Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone at 1:53 of the first period in Tuesday’s game. The Golden Knights doubled their lead on the power play and won 4-0 to take a 3-0 lead in the series.

Benn, who knocked down Stone and caught the sliding forward with his stick in the face/neck area, called the play “unfortunate.”

“The game happens fast,” he told reporters on Wednesday before his hearing. “Emotions are high. Obviously I would have liked not to fall on him and I guess use my stick as a landing point.”

But the league’s player safety department said Benn was in control of the play and chose to deliver a “forceful cross-check to a prone player. This is simply an unnecessarily dangerous decision by Benn and is delivered with sufficient intent and force to merit supplemental discipline.” “

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Benn won’t be available Thursday night as the Stars try to avoid a sweep. He can’t play either if the Stars force a Game 5. If the Stars are swept, Benn’s second game would be served at the start of the 2023-24 regular season.

“From our group’s perspective, I think everybody wants to see Jamie play again,” coach Peter DeBoer said before the suspension was announced. “We all want to make sure his season doesn’t end on a note like that.”

The Stars could be down two forwards on Thursday because Evgenii Dadonov is listed as doubtful after a collision with teammate Roope Hintz in Game 3. Forward Max Domi will be lighter in the wallet after being fined $5,000 for slashing Stone.

DeBoer did say goalie Jake Oettinger would start in Game 4 after being pulled Tuesday when he gave up three goals on five shots. Oettinger had been 5-0 after a loss in this postseason until this series, when he lost three in a row.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stars’ Jamie Benn suspended for cross-checking Mark Stone