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Florida Panthers' Sam Bennett gets 1 game suspension for boarding Lightning's Blake Coleman

Bennett will now sit out of Game 2 of the playoffs.
Credit: AP
Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) skates over the blue line with the puck during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

SUNRISE, Fla. — The National Hockey League said it would be suspending Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett one game for boarding Blake Coleman in Sunday's Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

During the third period of a heated back and forth game between the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, Bennett came flying across the ice to check Coleman.

The hit sent the Lightning forward face-first into the boards, knocking him off his feet. During the game, Bennett was given a minor penalty for charging. 

The Lightning would go on to win Sunday's game 5-4.

RELATED: Brayden Point scores twice in 3rd period to lift Lightning over Panthers 5-4

On Monday, the NHL reviewed the play and determined that Bennett's strike was excessive. The league said Coleman had his back turned towards players for more than just a second, and that Bennett had ample time to "deliver the hit in a legal fashion, avoid it entirely, or at the very least minimize its force."

Bennett will now sit out for Game 2 of the playoffs which takes place at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.

RELATED: Quest for the Cup: Lightning beat Panthers 5-4 in Round 1, Game 1 of the NHL playoffs

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