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Jamie Benn led the Stars to their demise
Penalty and game misconduct in the first period set the tone for an ugly performance
DALLAS — Trash was on the ice.
With 21.4 seconds in the second period Stars fans started littering the ice in Dallas in disapproval with the referees.
It was embarrassing and a perfect encapsulation of the biggest (proper) home game in 15 years.
And Jamie Benn set the tone.
Less than two minutes into the game the Stars captain aggressively cross-checked Mark Stone while he was laying on the ice. The puck was long gone, Stone was in a vulnerable position and Benn simply attacked him.
Benn was given a 5-minute major and game misconduct, his night was over and Stars season was pushed to the brink and a 3-0 series hole against the Vegas Golden Knights because of the actions of their captain.
“Top 5 dumbest penalty I’ve ever seen,” one former Stars player texted me during the game.
Both current and prior Stars talk about how Benn is one of the best captains they’ve ever played for. How they’ll follow him anywhere, how he sets the tone.
And in Game 3 they followed him straight into the ditch.
Jake Oettinger allowed three goals on five shots and failed to make an even strength save before he was pulled.
Dallas had a couple chances in the first period after, they hit some posts, but the game was already lost.
In the second period the game unraveled further. Vegas struck a fourth time — on a point shot by Alex Pietrangelo — and Dallas lost any remaining discipline as frustration started to boil over.
Some fans lost it as well, throwing trash onto the ice, and many others simply left before the third period even started.
In that third period the Stars had some shots, they actually out-shot Vegas by a two-to-one margin, but much of that was score effects and noise after the verdict had already been determined.
Vegas now leads 3-0 in the series, Benn could be suspended for Game 4, and while miracles, in theory, can happen, the Stars are now attending the funeral of their own demise for the remainder of the series.
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