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Stars’ Jamie Benn ejected for cross-check as Golden Knights win Game 3


The Dallas Stars had a chance to get back in the Western Conference final as they hosted the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 on Tuesday night.

Instead, they self-destructed in a 4-0 Golden Knights win, led by their captain Jamie Benn getting ejected for an undisciplined penalty less than two minutes into the game. By the end of the game, the Stars pulled their starting goalie, they lost a forward to injury, had another sit extended time with another undisciplined play and had the second period end early as fans threw objects on the ice.

The Golden Knights grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead in the series and can clinch their second appearance in the Stanley Cup Final with a win in Dallas on Thursday night.

How the Dallas Stars self-destructed

Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault scored 71 seconds into the game on the Golden Knights’ first shot.

Then Benn made things worse.

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He pulled down Golden Knights captain Mark Stone. Benn then leaned over and cross-checked a sliding Stone in the face/neck area at 1:53 of the first period. The on-ice officials called a five-minute major penalty and it was confirmed after a review, leaving the Stars without their No. 4 playoff scorer for the rest of the game.

Benn had 33 goals in the regular season and has 11 points in 16 playoff games. He could face supplemental discipline from the league.

“He made a mistake. No one feels worse about it than he does,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “Thankfully, Mark Stone’s OK. We will live with the consequences, whatever they are. We lived with them tonight and we’ll live with them going forward if there’s any other supplemental discipline.”

Ivan Barbashev scored on the five-minute power play and William Carrier scored 17 seconds after the penalty ended to give Vegas a 3-0 lead. That led DeBoer to pull goalie Jake Oettinger (three goals against on five shots) for the third time this postseason.

Stars forward Evgenii Dadonov left the game with a lower-body injury after a collision with teammate Roope Hintz and didn’t return. DeBoer had no update after the game.

Dallas’ Max Domi picked up 14 penalty minutes late in the second period in a scuffle with Nicolas Hague. Stars fans threw objects on the ice, causing officials to end the period early and move the final 22 seconds to the start of the third period.

“I think we all have to be better in order to dig out of this hole,” DeBoer said.

What did the Golden Knights do right?

They scored first for just the fourth time in the playoffs and didn’t need to come from behind as they have a league-leading eight times.

“We did it by playing it the way we want to play, so that’s the encouraging part,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Barbashev, a trade deadline acquisition and a previous Stanley Cup winner, had a goal and two assists. That gives him 13 points in 14 games this postseason.

Carrier and Alex Pietrangelo scored their first goals of the postseason, and Adin Hill had his first career playoff shutout.

But Brett Howden, who scored in overtime in Game 1, left Game 3 early with a lower-body injury. Cassidy said he doesn’t believe it’s serious. “We decided not to push it,” Cassidy said.

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