Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn has received a two-game suspension for cross-checking Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday. If Benn isn't able to serve the full two games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the remaining game will be served during the 2023-24 regular season.
The hit occurred just 1:53 into the Stars' 4-0 Game 3 loss. Benn was given a major penalty and a game misconduct after officials reviewed the play.
The Stars captain checked Stone to the ice during the sequence. While Stone was laying on his back, Benn drove his stick onto Stone's jaw as Benn was falling down onto the ice himself.
As a result of the Stars being shorthanded due to the penalty to Benn, the Golden Knights ended up taking control of the contest. Golden Knights center Ivan Barbashev scored a power-play goal to extend Vegas' lead to 2-0 just 5:57 into the game.
"That was my first shift of a game on home ice, when you're pretty jacked up and you're down 1-0. So you want to try and get your game going. Emotions are high and it's just an unfortunate play," Benn said, via ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "I put my team in a tough situation, so it's pretty unfortunate."
"It didn't feel good," Stone told reporters Wednesday. "I think I was more a little bit surprised. It was early in the game, it was my first shift of the game. I didn't expect to get stomped on like that. But I could hear the ref making sure I was all right and I felt okay to get up. The refs made sure the right call was made."
Stars head coach Pete DeBoer added that Benn "made a mistake" in regards to the hit.
"I don't think anyone in the building feels worse than he does about it. I'm not going to pile on him," DeBoer added. "He's been a leader here for his entire career and leads by example every day on and off the ice. He made a mistake. Fortunately, Mark Stone's OK," he said.
The Golden Knights would score three first-period goals, which led to the Stars pulling goaltender Jake Oettinger after facing just five shots on the night. Vegas ended up winning Game 3 by a 4-0 margin.
The Stars will attempt to move on without Benn in Game 4, which is scheduled for Thursday night.