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PAVELSKI, BOWNESS VOICE THEIR DISPLEASURE OVER GAME-DECIDING CALL ON BENN IN OT

It was heartbreak for Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars on Friday night, as the Stars forward sat in the penalty box just long enough to witness Tampa Bay Lightning defender Kevin Shattenkirk net the OT game-winner, much to the dismay of the captain and the rest of the crew. One player who really took exception to the call was veteran Joe Pavelski who believed that the call was a bit of a soft one for game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, in OT.

"The ref's got a tough job. I see it. It's in front of (referee) Kelly (Sutherland), he's got a great look at it, the back ref calls it. I don't have a ton of time for a play where Tyler Johnson steps in front of Jamie Benn and has no real effect on the play.

"Jamie breathes on him and the guy falls over. Whether that's the case or not, there's a little battle going on there. Playoffs, it's overtime, we expect five-on-five. We expect to battle it out."



Pavelski was not the only one who was upset with what would end up being the game-deciding call. His head coach Rick Bowness also had no qualms with telling it the way he saw it.

"Players want to dictate the end of the game. ... Let the players decide the game," Bowness told, The Athletic's Saad Yousuf.

"I saw two guys going for a loose puck, their guy hooking our guy, and our guy trying to fight through the hook. ... That's a hockey play. That's what I saw. I looked at the replay a couple of times, and it's two guys in the playoffs and you're going for a loose puck."

The Stars now sit on the brink of elimination, with the 2nd half of a back-to-back set up for Saturday in a game that could see the Tampa Bay Lightning win their second Stanley Cup in franchise history. But not if Bowness, Benn, Pavelski and the rest of the boys have anything to say about it.

MIKE ARMENTI
SEPTEMBER 26, 2020  (1H02)