Sam Bennett suspended one game for hit on Blake Coleman
Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman David Savard (58) fight during the first period in Game 1 of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers' Sam Bennett suspended one game for hit on Lightning's Blake Coleman

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett learned earlier in the day he'd have a hearing in front of the NHL Department of Player Safety for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Blake Coleman during the third period of Game 1 of the first-round playoff series on Sunday.

Unsurprisingly, Bennett was officially suspended Monday afternoon and will miss Tuesday's Game 2 showdown between the clubs. 

"From the moment Bennett hits the faceoff dot, he sees nothing but Coleman's numbers," the department explained in a video, per Emily Kaplan of ESPN. "With ample time to make a better decision, the onus is on Bennett to deliver this hit in a legal fashion, avoid it entirely, or at the very least minimize its force. Instead, he drives directly through Coleman's back with speed, driving him forcefully into the boards." 

Bennett was neither fined nor suspended until now, and Coleman remained in the contest following the hit and suffered no serious injury. That combination may have prevented Bennett from receiving a longer ban. 

Tampa Bay holds a 1-0 series advantage following Sunday's thrilling 5-4 win over Florida. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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