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NHL: Jamie Benn feared his season was over

After receiving a two-game suspension during the Western Final, Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn feared his season was over.

The Stars lost Game 3 to trail the Vegas Golden Knights 0-3, in which Benn punched Mark Stone in the jaw for a first-period misconduct penalty and a two-game suspension . But the Stars stayed alive by winning the next two games without Benn, giving their captain a chance to return for Game 6 tonight.

“I was praying that we would play two solid games just to get another chance. I’m really proud of the guys,” said Benn, who was the first player on the ice for practice. I had trouble watching the matches. The guys offered two brave efforts. Character wins. There is a lot of confidence in this dressing room. ”

Benn had 11 points in 16 games with the Stars this spring, including three goals.

The Stars used Benn’s absence as motivation and a rallying cry to extend the streak to at least six games. It was reminiscent of their first-round win over the Minnesota Wild as they vowed to continue playing in the playoffs until Joe Pavelski could recover from his Game 1 injury.

“We didn’t want the season to end like this for him,” Stars forward Radek Faksa said. We talked about Pav’s injury and how we wanted to get him back in the series. We talked about the same thing with Jamie – that we have to do anything so that he can come back on the show. And we did. ”

The Stars didn’t decry the match penalty imposed on Benn after just 1:53 of play in Game 3. For the players, they saw this gesture as a mistake motivated by a strong dose of aggression

“Look, what happened with Jamie…he’s not a guy suspended for a month. He plays physical and clean games all the time. He crossed the line one night. It’s not a problem, said Stars coach Peter DeBoer. I don’t think it’s fair to portray him the way we did after that incident. He was always a clean, physical and intimidating player. ”

When asked if he might have to control his emotions in another critical home game, Benn replied: “Probably. ”

Benn is expected to play on a line with rookie Wyatt Johnston. Forward Evgenii Dadonov will miss Game 6 with a lower body injury, and forward Ty Dellandrea is expected to be used with Benn and Johnston, although the Golden Knights are preparing for the possibility that Tyler Seguin joins this trio.

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