- Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.
DALLAS — The Dallas Stars had a disastrous start to Game 3 of the Western Conference Final on Tuesday night, already down 2-0 in the series to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Captain Jamie Benn was ejected just 1:53 into the game for a cross-check to the neck of Knights captain Mark Stone.
With the Golden Knights up 1-0 on a goal by Jonathan Marchessault just 1:11 into the game, Benn knocked Stone to the ice with a check. With Stone on his back, Benn drove his stick down into Stone’s neck area.
The on-ice officials gave the Stars winger a match penalty for cross-checking. They reviewed the play and determined it was a correct call.
Per NHL Rule 59, a cross-checking match penalty can be assessed if the referee believes a player “attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent by cross-checking.” Just 1:53 into Game 3, the Stars captain saw his night end.
Benn will be eligible for supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety. George Parros, director of Player Safety for the NHL, was in attendance in Dallas for Game 3.
Ivan Barbashev made it 2-0 on that ensuing five-minute major power play, scoring at 5:57 of the first. William Carrier scored an even-strength goal 1:13 after that to make it 3-0 and chase Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger after just 7:10 of ice time in Game 3.
Backup goaltender Scott Wedgewood, who last played on May 13 against the Seattle Kraken, entered the game.
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