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.
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.
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