The NHL’s department of player safety announced Monday that Sam Bennett has been suspended one game for boarding Blake Coleman in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series between the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The incident occurred near the eight-minute mark in the third period of the Lightning’s 5-4 win over the Panthers.
Bennett slammed a defenceless Coleman into the left-side boards after the Lightning forward made a backhand pass to the other side of the Panthers’ net.
Bennett was assessed two minutes for charging on the play.
When asked if the incident crossed the line, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after the game it was a “predatory hit.”
“That was a tough one to watch,” Cooper said. “I’m just happy that Coleman’s OK.”
Bennett has thrived in Florida since being acquired by the Panthers from the Calgary Flames at the trade deadline, putting up 15 points in 10 games down the stretch and adding two assists Sunday vs. the Lightning.