2022 NHL Trade Deadline Live Blog

Welcome to Pro Hockey Talk’s 2022 NHL Trade Deadline live blog. There’s already been a flurry of action in the past few days, but some names are still out there who could potentially be on the move before 3 p.m. ET today. Read on for news and analysis.

Trade deadline a much-needed win for Canadiens
Claude Giroux arrives in Florida: ‘Time to go to work’
Penguins get Rickard Rakell, add more scoring depth
Copp, Braun make Rangers more balanced after trade deadline
With Fleury trade, Wild boldly aim to fix biggest weakness
Jake DeBrusk extension with Bruins could still end with trade

8:50 a.m. ET – Well, that was quite a busy 48 hours. Claude Giroux is now a Panther; Hampus Lindholm is a Bruin for the next eight years; Mark Giordano is shoring up the Maple Leafs’ blue line;

There’s still more to come! While some big names are on the move, there are others that could be changing teams before today’s 3 p.m. ET deadline. Phil Kessel, Jakob Chychrun, Justin Braun, Rickard Rakell, Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Domi, Conor Garland, and Paul Stastny are a few players who may end the day wearing a different jersey. We’ll be here throughout the day to track the trades and provide analysis on news and rumors.

You can also follow the PHT trade tracker for every move this season.

9 a.m. ET – We have one deal and it’s a minor one. The Penguins have acquired Nathan Beaulieu from the Jets for a conditional 2022 seventh-round pick. The defenseman has a $1.25 million cap hit and has been on long-term injured reserve since March 9. According to the Penguins, he will remain on LTIR.

The conditions on the pick are if the Penguins win three playoff series and Beaulieu plays in at least 50% of their playoff games, the Jets get the seventh rounder.

9:05 a.m. ET – While the Coyotes are in seller mode, one piece who will be sticking around is Karel Vejmelka. The 25-year-old netminder from Czechia has been a bright spot in a down year for the franchise. In 36 games this season he has a .916 5-on-5 save percentage

It’s a three-year, $8.175 million extension. Vejmelka is now one of five Coyotes signed through the 2024-25 NHL season joining Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Dysin Mayo, and Jakob Chychrun.

Chychrun, of course, could be on the move today. His contract expires after the 2024-25 season and carries a $4.6 million salary cap hit. While there’s plenty of interest in the 23-year-old blue liner, unless a GM knocks Bill Armstrong’s socks off, this might end up being a summer trade.

9:10 a.m. ET – One of the moves made on Sunday that raised eyebrows was the Senators sending the Canucks a 2022 third-round pick for Travis Hamonic. The 31-year-old Hamonic is signed through next season with a $3 million cap hit.

Appearing on TSN TradeCentre this morning, Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion said he likes that Hamonic is a pass-first defenseman and that he skates well. He also has a good relationship with Senators assistant coach Jack Capuano dating back to their days with the Islanders.

Hamonic could be an option to pair with one of Ottawa’s young defensemen, like Jake Sanderson. Dorion added that this move could have been done in the summer, but he wanted to get a jump on shoring up his blue line ahead of free agency.


9:25 a.m. ET – Marc-Andre Fleury is one of the big names who could be dealt today. But there’s no certainty that the netminder, who is a pending UFA, will be on the move.

The Wild have reportedly inquired about Fleury, a player that GM Bill Guerin targeted two years ago before signing Cam Talbot. Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson want a first-round pick, but Guerin doesn’t want to give up that much. He’d settle on sending a second-rounder.

If they’re that close, and Fleury is believed to be OK with waiving his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal, then we may have something here.

It was surprise ton see Fleury start for the Blackhawks during their Sunday night loss to the Jets. Even if the goaltender hadn’t indicated he would be fine with a trade, asset management is important this time of year and it’s not odd to see players who could potentially leave sit out.

“They didn’t have to call me,” said Blackhawks coach Derek King about sitting players out. “I was probably thinking about sitting guys anyway myself, just the way they were playing. “But I thought, ‘OK, here we go, something’s going to happen,’ or I was going to have to take somebody out of the net after the first because something was going down. But you know, I haven’t even seen them down in our room. So maybe there is some stuff brewing, who knows. But that’s out of my control.”

10:10 a.m. ET – For teams looking to add to its goaltending depth, they can stop calling Pierre Dorion about Anton Forsberg. The Senators announced that they’ve extended the netminder wiith a three-year, $8.25 million deal.

In 31 games played this season the 29-year-old Forsberg has recorded a .921 5-on-5 save percentage, 4.48 goals saved above average and helped them to win 14 games. He’s taken a bulk of the starts with Matt Murray (20 games played) dealing with injuries this season.

The extension comes a little over a year after Ottawa claimed him on waivers from the Jets.

10:20 a.m. ET – Oh, how things can change. After requesting a trade earlier this season, Jake DeBrusk and the Bruins have worked out a two-year, $8 million extension. The 25-year-old forward has 15 goals and 26 points in 57 games this season.

Since Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed the news in late November, DeBrusk has been a key part of the team. Since Nov. 30, DeBrusk is tied for third on the team with 12 goals. He said he didn’t want to be a distraction when it got out, and he certainly wasn’t.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, despite the signing, the trade request has not been rescinded. This could be part potential sign-and-trade, part the Bruins worried about what DeBrusk’s qualifying offer would have been. He was a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He will now be an unrestricted free agent when his new deal expires.

Now, if a trade is still to come, DeBrusk’s next team now knows how to fit him within their salary cap picture.

10:35 a.m. ET – As we wait to see if the Maple Leafs will do anything else before the 3 p.m. ET deadline, a bit of good news for them this morning. Jack Campbell was on the ice before the main group practices. The netminder has not played since March 8 and has been out with a rib injury. 

Erik Källgren has started the last three games (Petr Mrazek was waived on Sunday) and won two of those starts.

Campbell was ruled out for a minimum of two weeks.

11:05 a.m. ET – A pair of deals are done as business begins to pick up around the league.

First, the Jets are sending the rights to unsigned NCAA player Nathan Smith, plus Bryan Little’s contract to the Coyotes for a fourth-round pick. Smith has chosen not to sign in Winnipeg and will become a UFA this summer. Little still has two years left on his contract that carries a $5.291 million cap hit.

Little has not played since Nov. 5, 2019 after needing surgery to repair a perforated eardrum. He has also been dealing with concussion issues.

This is a move by Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to give him some salary cap flexibility for next season now that he won’t have to place Little on LTIR.

The other move is Marcus Johansson reuniting with his old pals in Washington after the Capitals acquired the forward from the Kraken. Daniel Sprong, a 2022 fourth-rounder, and a 2023 sixth-rounder are heading to Seattle, which is also retaining 50% of Johansson’s contract.

The 31-year-old Johansson, who can be a UFA this summer, has six goals and 23 points in 51 games this season. He’ll bring depth up front as well as give head coach Peter Laviolette another option on the team’s power play.

11:20 a.m. ET – Marc-Andre Fleury is now a member of the Wild. The Blackhawks have sent a conditional second-round pick to Minnesota for the 37-year-old netminder. Chicago will also retain 50% of Fleury’s contract. More on the trade here.

[MORE: With Fleury trade, Wild boldly aim to fix biggest weakness]

12 p.m. ET – So who’s left out there that could be traded in the next few hours? The Ducks have already sent Hampus Lindholm to Boston. Is there a new destination in Rickard Rakell’s future? Staying on the wing, the Blue Jackets have been shopping pending UFA Max Domi and if he is dealt it would be his third team in three seasons. Pending UFA Andrew Copp is a hot commodity out of Winnipeg as the Jets look to refresh their roster before next season.

Artturi Lehkonen can be a restricted free agent and doesn’t appear to be in Kent Hughes’ plans in Montreal. The winger has 29 points this season and could bring in some assets for the new Canadiens’ brass to use to further build their ideal roster going forward.

While we wait to see what happens with Jakob Chychrun, Justin Braun could be an under-the-radar pickup for a team’s blue line. The 35-year-old has five goals and 16 points this season and can be a UFA in the off-season.

12:30 p.m. ET – What now for the Blackhawks? Brandon Hagel is gone. Marc-Andre Fleury is gone. GM Kyle Davidson has already signaled a rebuild is coming.  The contract for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will expire after next season. Alex DeBrincat can be an RFA in 2023 and will be due a large pay raise.

If a rebuild is coming, how much will Kane, Toews and DeBrincat want to be a part of it? Kane and Toews will be 34 this year while DeBrincat turns 25 in December. Those three could bring in valuable assets to assist in Davidson’s vision for his roster.

Kane and Toews both have no-movement clauses so they can dictate their futures.

“This trade immediately puts us in a better position at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, giving us a pick that will land early in the draft,” said Davidson following the Fleury trade. “We are in a better position today at the upcoming Draft than we were yesterday.”

12:50 p.m. ET– The Rangers have added to their blue line picking up Justin Braun from the Flyers for a 2023 third-round pick.

Braun, 35, adds a right-hand shot to their defense corps and some offense with five goals and 16 points this season. He’s been one of Philadelphia’s ice time leaders and had been a trusted piece of their penalty kill.

A pending UFA, Braun has played 100 playoff games in his 12-year NHL career. His role was improved in Philadelphia this season with the injury to Ryan Ellis.

1:15 p.m. ET

1:20 p.m. ET – Claude Giroux met the Florida media for the first time since Saturday’s trade to the Panthers. After playing 1,000 NHL games with the Flyers, he’s moved on to chase a Stanley Cup with a contending team out of the Atlantic Division.

“That’s the reason I’m here. I’m here to win,” Giroux said. I’m here to help the team win. That’s the reason this trade happened. I think this team has a chance to go far in the playoffs. … It’s time to go to work.”

1:30 p.m. ET – Pending RFA Alexandar Georgiev has made it known he wants to be a No. 1 elsewhere. But that’s looking to be more like a trade for the summertime as the Rangers want to keep him as a backup to Igor Shesterkin.

Georgiev has had a bumpy 2021-22 season, but has won his last two starts, including a 44-save shutout of the Hurricanes on Sunday night. The market for No. 1 goalies and backups isn’t to GM Chris Drury’s liking at the moment. And any Georgiev trade would likely require New York to either get another goalie in return or make a separate deal to find an adequate backup for Shesterkin.

1:40 p.m. ET – Interesting note via the NHL: There have been 1,177 players dealt on deadline day since 1980. Only 26 have gone on to win the Stanley Cup later that season — the last being Barclay Goodrow in 2020.

2 p.m. ET – The Blues are adding Nick Leddy to their blue line in a trade with the Red Wings. The 31-year-old has a goal and 16 points in 55 games this season while averaging 21:33 of ice time.

Oskar Sundqvist and Jake Walman are part of the package going back to Detroit.

Meanwhile, Artturi Lehkonen Lehkonen’s next few months just got a little more exciting with the news that he’s one his way to the Avalanche for prospect Justin Barron and a 2024 second-round pick. 

The 26-year-old forward is a pending RFA this summer. He’ll fit in nicely down the Avs’ Cup-contending lineup. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this summer as he seeks out a bigger deal.

2:05 p.m. ET – Harri Säteri was signed by the Maple Leafs but will not play for them as the Finnish netminder was claimed on waivers by the Coyotes. Since Säteri played in Europe this season, he had to clear waivers in order to join Toronto. Now he’ll change flight plans and head to Arizona.

Do the Maple Leafs look for a goalie on the market now? They waived struggling Petr Mrazek in Sunday and Jack Campbell remains out. It’s been Erik Källgren of late. Will GM Kyle Dubas stay pat until Campbell gets 100% healthy?

2:45 p.m. ET – Expecting a Phil Kessel trade? Well, a pretty good source says otherwise.

2:55 p.m. ET – The Rangers have added to their secondary scoring by bringing aboard Andrew Copp from the Jets.

Copp, 27, is a pending UFA and has 13 goals and 35 points in 56 games this season. He can play on the wing or down the middle, some versatility that should make head coach Gerard Gallant happy. He has a 52.07 shots for percentage and 51.3 expected goals for percentage, per Natural Stat Trick.

Chris Drury also sent a 2023 fourth-round pick to the Canucks for forward Tyler Motte. An extension couldn’t be worked out between Motte and Vancouver, so the pending UFA is off to the Big Apple.

3 p.m. ET – The deadline has passed! But this is your annual reminder that trade could be announced after 3 p.m. ET as teams wait in line to confirm the details with NHL Central Registry. We’ll end the live blog here but be sure to follow PHT for any breaking trades the rest of the day. To see every deal made, check out the PHT trade tracker here.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Scroll Down For:

    Sabres sign Minnesota defenseman Ryan Johnston to 2-year rookie contract

    Getty Images

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Sabres ended a lengthy wait by signing Ryan Johnston to a two-year, entry level contract more than a month after the defenseman completed his senior college season at Minnesota.

    Johnston will report immediately to the Sabres’ American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester, whose best-of-seven Eastern Conference final playoff series against Hershey is tied at 1.

    From Southern California, Johnston is listed at 6-feet and 170 pounds and was selected 31st in 2019 draft.

    His puck-moving skills fit Buffalo’s style of play, Johnston finished his college career with nine goals and 59 points in 143 career games, including four goals and 18 points in 40 games this year. He reached the NCAA’s Frozen Four in each of his final two seasons, with the Gophers losing in the semifinals last year, followed by a 3-2 overtime loss to Quinnipiac in the championship game last month.

    He also had a goal and three assists in seven games representing the U.S. team that won gold at the 2021 world junior championships.

    Johnston, who turns 22 in July, had the option to wait until August when he would’ve become an unrestricted free agent and eligible to sign with any team. Because Johnston was first-round pick, the Sabres would’ve been compensated with a 2024 second-round selection had he signed elsewhere.

    Both sides are banking on the player’s age and college experience to enable Johnston to make the jump to the NHL within the next two seasons. The Sabres will still control Johnston’s rights as a restricted free agent once his entry-level contract expires.

    Joe Pavelski scores on OT power play, Stars beat Golden Knights 3-2 to avoid West sweep

    stars golden knights
    Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

    DALLAS — Joe Pavelski admits that he probably appreciates the big playoff goals more the later he gets in his career. But they all still feel just as good, and his latest kept the season alive for the Dallas Stars.

    “Just really living in the moment,” Pavelski said. “A tremendous feeling for sure, and glad we could play another game, and go from there and try to extend it.”

    The 38-year-old Pavelski scored on a power play at 3:18 of overtime – a one-timer from the middle of the left circle to the far post – and the Stars avoided a sweep in the Western Conference Final with a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

    Jason Robertson scored twice for his first career multigoal playoff game for Dallas, which played without suspended captain Jamie Benn.

    “We’re looking for goals and that’s kind of my responsibility I put on myself,” Robertson said. “I know these playoffs have been tough. … I was able to get the bounces that we needed tonight.”

    Jake Oettinger had 37 saves, two nights after the 24-year-old Stars goalie was pulled 7:10 into Game 3 after allowing three goals on five shots.

    The Stars had the man advantage in overtime after Brayden McNabb‘s high-sticking penalty on Ty Dellandrea. Fifty seconds into the power play, Pavelski scored on a pass from Miro Heiskanen. They won for the first time in their five OT games this postseason – Vegas won the first two games of this series past regulation.

    It was only the second Vegas penalty of the game, both high-sticking calls against McNabb. His penalty on Pavelski late in the first period set up the power play when Robertson scored his first goal with some nifty stickwork.

    Pavelski, in his 15th NHL season and still looking for his first Stanley Cup, scored his ninth goal in 12 games this postseason, but his first in five games. He has 73 career postseason goals – the most for U.S.-born players and the most among all active players.

    “He’s ageless. … I’ve seen that movie over and over again. Never gets old,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “He lives for those moments and he wants to be in those situations. Always has, and delivers almost every time.”

    Benn was suspended two games by the NHL on Wednesday for his cross-check with his stick landing near the neck of Vegas captain Mark Stone in the first two minutes of Game 3 on Tuesday night. Benn also will miss Game 5 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

    William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Vegas. Adin Hill had his five-game winning streak snapped. He made 39 saves, including a game-saver with his extended left leg without about two minutes left in regulation on rookie Fredrik Olofsson’s swiping try in his first career playoff game.

    “Our effort wasn’t good enough. Closing a series is probably the hardest game in a series, right, so it just wasn’t good enough from our group,” Marchessault said. “It was still a one-goal game in overtime. It was right there for us.”

    Karlsson and Marchessault are among six of the original Vegas players still on the team from the inaugural 2017-18 season that ended with the Knights playing for the Stanley Cup, though they lost in five games to the Washington Capitals after winning the first game.

    Vegas missed a chance to complete a sweep, a night after the Florida Panthers finished off a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final.

    Vegas took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when Marchessault, after whacking his stick on the back of Ryan Suter in front of the net, scored on a pass between the Stars defenseman’s legs from McNabb, another original Golden Knight.

    Robertson’s tying goal late in that period came on a ricochet off the back board just seconds after he had another shot hit the post. That was the fourth goal of this series, and sixth in the playoffs, after this regular season becoming the first Dallas player with a 100-point season.

    On his first goal late in the first that tied it 1-1, Robertson deflected Heiskanen’s shot from just inside the blue line up into the air. As Hill was trying to secure the puck into his glove, Robertson knocked it free and then reached around and swiped the puck into the net with his stick parallel to the ice.

    With former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and wrestling great Ric Flair both in the building wearing Stars jerseys Dallas was avoided being swept in the playoffs for the first time since 2001 against St. Louis in the second round. This was the Stars’ 21st playoff series since then.

    The Golden Knights scored first again – though not like those three quick goals in Game 3 that led to the earliest exit ever for Oettinger.

    Karlsson pushed the puck up and skated to the front of the net after passing to Nicolas Roy, whose pass through traffic went off a Dallas stick before Reilly Smith got it just inside the right circle and took a shot. Karlsson’s deflection past Oettinger only 4:17 into the game was his eighth goal this postseason.

    “There were a lot of rush chances,” said Smith, also with Vegas since the beginning. “I don’t think we did a good enough job of making it difficult on them. So we get another opportunity in two days.”

    Tkachuk sends Panthers to Stanley Cup Final, after topping Hurricanes 4-3 for sweep

    panthers stanley cup final
    Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports

    SUNRISE, Fla. — Matthew Tkachuk delivered for Florida, again. Sergei Bobrovsky denied Carolina, again.

    The wait is over: After 27 years, the Florida Panthers – a hockey punchline no more – are again going to play for the game’s grandest prize.

    Tkachuk got his second goal of the game with 4.9 seconds left, lifting the Panthers past the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 and into the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1996 after sweeping the Eastern Conference final.

    The Panthers will play either Vegas or Dallas for the Stanley Cup starting sometime next week; Vegas currently leads the Western Conference title series 3-0.

    “This was pure joy,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

    Bobrovsky stopped 36 shots to cap his stellar series – four games, four one-goal wins, three of them basically in sudden death, a .966 save percentage after stopping 174 of the 180 shots he faced. The first two wins were in overtime, and this one may as well have been.

    The Panthers scored 10 goals in the series, and Bobrovsky ensured those were all they needed. They were the No. 8 seed, the last team in, the longest of long shots – which is consistent with their history, after not winning a single playoff series in 26 years, a drought that ended last season.

    And now, beasts of the East. Tkachuk arrived last summer saying he wanted to bring Florida a Cup. He’s four wins away.

    “It’s amazing,” Bobrovsky said. “We showed the resilience … and we’re lucky to have Chucky on our side. He knows how to score big goals.”

    NHL Senior Vice President Brian Jennings was the one tasked with presenting the Prince of Wales Trophy. After some photos, Aleksander Barkov – the captain who had two assists, one of them on the game-winner – grabbed it, and skated it away. Some teams touch it. Some don’t. A few of the Panthers did, but Barkov didn’t pass it around.

    That’ll wait for the big prize.

    “It’s hard to explain right now. Everything just happened so quick,” Barkov said. “It means a lot. It definitely does. … It hasn’t been easy and nobody said it’s going to be easy.”

    Added Tkachuk: “We earned that thing, and definitely didn’t do it the easy way. We earned it.”

    Ryan Lomberg and Anthony Duclair had the other goals for Florida, which swept a series for the first time in franchise history.

    Jordan Staal – his brothers Eric and Marc play for the Panthers – took a tripping penalty with 57 seconds left in regulation, setting up the power-play that Tkachuk finished off after getting into the slot and beating Frederik Andersen to set off a wild celebration.

    “Eastern Conference champions,” Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad said. “It’s really cool. No doubt about it. But you know, at the end of the day, we have our eyes on something different.”

    Toy rats – the Panthers’ tradition, a nod to the unwanted locker room guests from Florida’s old arena in 1996 – sailed down from the stands, and the goal needed to survive an official review. But the rats were picked up, the goal was deemed good, and 27 years of waiting was officially over 4.9 seconds later.

    Jesper Fast seemed like he might have saved the season for Carolina, getting a tying goal with 3:22 left in regulation. Paul Stastny and Teuvo Teravainen had the first two goals of the night for the Hurricanes, while Brady Skjei and Jordan Martinook each had two assists. Andersen stopped 21 shots.

    “Everyone’s going to say, ‘You got swept.’ That’s not what happened,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I watched the game. I’m there. I’m cutting the games. We’re in the game. We didn’t lose four games. We got beat, but we were right there. This could have went the other way. It could have been four games the other way.”

    That wasn’t sour grapes. He was right. A bounce here, a bounce there, a Bobrovsky not here, a Bobrovsky not there, and this series could have gone much differently.

    But Bob was his best. Tkachuk was clutch, over and over. And Florida is as close to a Cup as it has ever been; the Panthers were swept by Colorado in the 1996 final.

    Towels waved, strobe lights flashed, and the fans wasted no time letting the Panthers know that they were ready to a clincher.

    Tkachuk made it 2-0 on the power play midway through the first. Carolina – a 113-point, division-championship-winning team in the regular season – made it 2-1 later in the first on Stastny’s goal, and Teravainen tied it early in the second.

    Lomberg’s goal midway through the second gave Florida the lead again. It stayed that way until Fast got the equalizer with 3:22 left, and then Tkachuk finished it off – getting the Panthers to the title round in his first season.

    “It’s been unbelievable since July since I got here,” Tkachuk said. “And hopefully we can cap off this amazing year.”


    Panthers general manager Bill Zito was announced earlier Wednesday as a finalist for NHL GM of the year. … Tkachuk’s two goals gave him 21 points in the playoffs – extending his Florida single-season postseason record, which was 17 by Dave Lowry in 1996. … Slavin was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game after Bennett’s hit, with what the Hurricanes said was “an upper-body injury.” Slavin wobbled as he tried to get to his feet. … Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel – who has also been a regular at Miami Heat games during their playoff run this spring – banged the drum before the game. When done, without a mic to drop, he simply dropped the mallet instead.


    Tkachuk’s goal midway through the opening period put Florida up 2-0 – and marked the first time, in nearly 14 periods of play to that point, that a team had a two-goal lead in this series. Every bit of action came with the score tied or someone up by one in the first 272 minutes (including all the overtimes) of the series.

    Jamie Benn suspended 2 games after captain-on-captain hit

    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    DALLAS — Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn was suspended two games by the NHL after an ugly hit on Vegas captain Mark Stone in a Game 3 loss that left Dallas on the brink of being swept out of the Western Conference Final.

    Benn will miss the must-win Game 4 for the Stars and Game 5 as well if they win. If Dallas is swept, the suspension would extend to the opener next season.

    Benn got a game misconduct for his cross-check less than two minutes into Game 3 after the captains collided near the blue line. After Stone fell to the ice, Benn lunged forward with both hands on his stick and made contact near Stone’s neck as he was sliding over the center line.

    In a video announcing the suspension, the league noted Benn is in control of the play and made the decision to cross-check Stone, who was in a vulnerable position.

    “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.

    Benn had been fined four times but never suspended before in his 14 NHL seasons. Before his hearing, Benn said he wished he hadn’t used his stick “as a landing point” during the play.

    “Just heat of the moment. … I need to be more responsible with my body and my stick,” Benn said. “My first shift of a game on home ice when you’re pretty jacked up and down 1-0, so you want to try to get your team going. Emotions are high and, you know, it was just an unfortunate play.”

    Vegas scored on the ensuing power play, doubling its lead, before going on to a 4-0 win to take a 3-0 series lead. With a win, the Knights would advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in the franchise’s six seasons.

    “I didn’t love what transpired, but it got handled the right way and we stayed focused as a team,” said Stone, who also spoke before the suspension was announced.

    The Stars had hoped for a strong Game 3 but instead saw the Golden Knights score three times in the first 7 1/2 minutes to chase inconsistent goalie Jake Oettinger amid a series of ugly penalties and even fans pelting the ice with debris.

    Stone said he was “a little bit surprised” at that kind of play happening when it did.

    “It was early in the game, my first shift of the game,” he said. “I didn’t expect to get stomped on like that.”

    Asked what he could have done differently in that moment, Benn said he obviously didn’t want to take a five-minute major penalty.

    “But the game happens fast, emotions are high, and obviously would have liked to not fall on him and, I guess, use my stick as a landing point,” Benn said.

    Dallas coach Pete DeBoer had said the Stars were prepared for the possibility that Benn wouldn’t be available for a game that they must win to extend their season.

    “The bottom line is that there’s consequences for actions and he’s paying the consequences for that,” DeBoer said. “From our group’s perspective, I think everybody wants to see Jamie Benn play again. I think we all want to make sure his season doesn’t end on a note like that.”

    DeBoer said that Oettinger would be back in net for Game 4, even after losing three starts in a row. He has lost four of five, but the win was in Game 7 over Seattle last week.

    Along with Benn, the Stars could also be without forward Evgenii Dadonov. He left with a lower-body injury in the first period, and DeBoer said he was doubtful for Game 4.

    Max Domi, who got a 10-minute misconduct at the end of the second period, was fined $5,000 by the NHL for slashing Stone in the closing minutes of the game; no penalty was called.

    The earlier misconduct came when Domi, after cross-checking Nicolas Hague, started throwing punches with 21 seconds left in the second.

    Fans reacted to penalties being called on Domi by throwing water bottles, food and other items on the ice. With extended time needed to clean up the playing surface, officials sent both teams to their locker rooms early and finished those final seconds after the intermission before playing the third period.

    Dallas Stars president Brad Alberts issued an apology to the Golden Knights and the NHL for “the actions of a few of our spectators at last night’s game. Their actions were unacceptable and put the safety of the players and fans at risk.

    “We take pride in providing the best experience for everyone who enters our arena,” he said. “The actions of these individuals certainly do not reflect our great city, organization and loyal fan base.”