Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn suspended 2 games for hit on Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone

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Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was suspended two games for his cross-check on Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone in Tuesday’s 4-0 loss that left the Stars in a 3-0 hole in the Western Conference Final.

The suspension was announced Wednesday by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Benn will now be forced to sit out Thursday’s Game 4 at home, and should the Stars win to extend the series, Saturday’s Game 5 in Las Vegas. If the Golden Knights complete the sweep, Benn will then have to sit out next season’s opener.

In Game 3, Benn received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for his hit on Stone less than two minutes into the game, with the Stars already trailing 1-0.

After Benn and Stone collided, Stone fell to the ice, landing on his back. Benn then dove downward onto Stone and cross-checked his head and neck area.

In a video announcing the suspension, the league determined that Benn intentionally decided to cross-check Stone while he was vulnerable.

“This is simply an unnecessarily dangerous decision by Benn, and it is delivered with sufficient intent and force to merit supplemental discipline,” the league said.

This is the first time Benn has been suspended in his 14-year NHL career.

Benn, who has been Dallas’ captain since the start of the 2013-14 season, has three goals and eight assists in this year’s playoffs, including one goal in this series.