Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn has been suspended for two games for his cross-check on Vegas Golden Knights skipper Mark Stone.

Benn lunged in on Stone in Tuesday's 4-0 loss, a defeat that left the Stars in a 3-0 hole in the Western Conference finals.

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

Benn will now be forced to sit out Game 4, which takes place on Thursday, 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 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 in, with the Stars already trailing 1-0.

After Benn and Stone collided, the latter 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.

Dallas Stars coach Peter DeBoer was thrilled with his team's efforts after Monday's 5-2 victory saw them sweep their two-game road series against the Seattle Kraken.

It took less than six minutes for the Stars to jump ahead by two, with Evgenii Dadonov's early opener followed shortly after by Jamie Benn's power-play goal.

The power-play unit consisting of Benn, Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson were dynamic, as Pavelski and Robertson assisted Benn's goal, before Benn turned provider for Pavelski early in the second period, and Benn nabbed another assist when he set up Robertson for the third power-play goal of the night to seal things.

Stars center Wyatt Johnson – who assisted the opener and scored his side's fourth goal – highlighted the impact of getting such incredible production from their power-plays.

"It's huge," he said. "Especially when you're on the road – just getting like three goals on the power play, it's always, always a big help."

Coach DeBoer called it "an important four points" as the Stars hold onto a three-point buffer atop the Central division, and sit one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights in the race for the top seed in the Western Conference.

"You look at the standings and we're in a fight for first in the division, first in the conference," he said. "[Seattle are] in a battle for playoff positioning. 

"They've been playing great all year, so this was a real test for us coming in here for two games and I thought our group really responded."

On the other side, the Kraken blew a golden opportunity to establish themselves as one of the West's top sides, getting leapfrogged by Dallas, the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings during their current three-game losing streak.

"Bottom line, we didn't get job done," Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. "At the end of the day that's what matters.

"We've been a group that's been able to turn the page and go back to the next job at hand. This group has to be able to do that again."

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