The Dallas Stars front office issued an apology Wednesday to the Las Vegas Golden Knights after frustrated fans littered home ice with food, drinks and other items near the end of the second period Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Stars captain Jamie Benn is facing further discipline for a game misconduct and forward Max Domi has been fined for his rough play.
“On behalf of the Dallas Stars organization, I would like to apologize to the Vegas Golden Knights and the National Hockey League 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,” said Brad Alberts, Dallas Stars president and CEO. “We take pride in providing the best experience for everyone who enters our arena. The actions of these individuals certainly do not reflect our great city, organization and loyal fan base.”
With 21 seconds left in the second period, Stars center Max Domi was hit with a game misconduct penalty after he cross-checked Nicolas Hague and started throwing punches. After the two were separated, and as Domi was being escorted to the penalty box, Hague was laughing and appeared to say, “Good job, smart play” while giving him a thumbs up.
DALLAS, TEXAS – MAY 23: Nicolas Hague #14 of the Vegas Golden Knights reacts after being given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Dallas Stars during the second period in Game Three of the Western Conference Final of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 23, 2023, in Dallas, Texas.
Domi was hit with penalties for cross-checking and roughing as well as a 10-minute game misconduct.
Fans in the arena reacted by throwing water bottles, food and other items on the ice. With the extended time needed to clean up the playing surface, officials sent both teams to their locker rooms early for the second intermission with the Knights up 4-0.
Those final 21 seconds were played after the intermission before the clock was reset to 20 minutes for the third period.
DALLAS, TEXAS – MAY 23: An ice-crew member cleans the ice after fans throw debris during the second period in Game Three of the Western Conference Final of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights at American Airlines Center on May 23, 2023, in Dallas, Texas.
The rough stuff wasn’t finished yet. In the third period, Domi slashed Stone and was fined $5,000 on Wednesday morning by the NHL. The fine is the maximum allowed under the CBA and the money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Domi did not receive a penalty on the play.
This all came after Stars captain Jamie Benn was tossed from the game in the early minutes after earning a major penalty and game misconduct for an ugly play against Vegas captain Mark Stone.
After the two captains collided near the blue line and 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.
Stone was not injured in the play.
The Stars were already down 1-0 at the time and gave up another goal on the five-minute major.
Benn, meanwhile, is facing supplemental discipline for the cross-check and the NHL said he will have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.
The Golden Knights went on to a 4-0 Game 3 win that has them within one victory of reaching another Stanley Cup Final. Game 4 is Thursday night in Dallas.
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