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Ahead of hearing, Benn regrets using stick as a 'landing point' on Stone

Jamie Benn Jamie Benn - The Canadian Press

Ahead of his hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Wednesday, Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn said he's regretful of his actions in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

Benn, who will have a hearing for cross-checking Mark Stone in the head/neck area, argued he only used his stick as a landing point against the Vegas Golden Knights captain.

“Obviously didn't want to take a five-minute penalty, but when the game happens fast, emotions are high," Benn said. "Obviously I would've liked to not fall on him, and I guess use my stick as the landing point."

Benn was ejected less than two minutes into his team's 4-0 loss to the Golden Knights Tuesday as the Stars fell behind 3-0 in the series.

The 31-year-old forward noted he had not reached to Stone since the incident took place.

A suspension of any length would force Benn to miss the Stars' must-win Game 4 on Thursday.

“We'll probably go through the whole play starting from our end and I'll try and tell them how I was feeling and what was going on in that situation," Benn said of his looming hearing.

Benn was playing out his first shift of the game with Dallas already trailing 1-0 when he bumped Stone. After Stone fell to the ice, Benn cross-checked down on him in the neck area.

He received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the action, with the Golden Knights extending their lead to 2-0 on the ensuing power play.

"Let's put it this way: [He] made a mistake, he feels really badly about it," Stars head coach Peter DeBoer said post-game. "I don't think anyone in the building feels worse than he does about it. I'm not going to pile on him. He's been a leader here through his entire career and leads by example every day on and off the ice. [He] made a mistake.

"Fortunately, Mark Stone is okay, and we've got to live with the consequences, and the consequences was a big hole. But I'm not going to stand here and pile on tonight. I don't think it does anybody any good."

Stars veteran Tyler Seguin took a similar stance, putting the loss on the shoulders of the entire team.

"Jamie's one of the, if not the best, captain in this league, top leader," Seguin said. "Collectively, we lost as a group tonight."

Benn has three goals and 11 points over 16 games this postseason after posting 33 goals and 78 points in 82 regular-season games, his best marks in five years.