Panthers Sam Bennett suspended one game for boarding, penalty helped Lightning win series opener

sam bennett suspended
May 16, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman David Savard (58) fight during the first period in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Bennett has been suspended. His charging penalty hurt the Panthers in game one of their opening round series against the Lightning. Now he will be out for a critical game two on Tuesday.

After Aleksander Barkov was hit a tad bit late by Blake Coleman, Bennett took the law into his own hands. He exacted his brand of justice by ramming him into the boards. At the time, Bennett was assessed a charging penalty. Brayden Point would score on the ensuing power play to tie the game at 4 in the third period. He would score the game-winner with 1:14 left on the clock to secure game one for Tampa.

Sam Bennett suspended for one game

The NHL Department of Player Safety has determined Bennett will now miss game two of this series. This is a big loss for the Panthers who got two assists from him in building up a 4-3 lead in game one.

In the suspension video, the NHL DoPS clearly calls out Bennett eyeing Coleman’s numbers and then forcefully driving him into the boards. To be truthful, he’s lucky to only receive a one game suspension.

Bennett has become a crucial piece to the Panthers success and his loss will be hard to overcome. If the Lightning can manage to win game two and go back to Tampa with a 2-0 series lead, this could be lights out for Florida.

sam bennett suspended
May 16, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37) and Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) face-off during the second period in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports