The Florida Panthers may be without second-line center Sam Bennett for Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night for his hit on Blake Coleman in Game 1. The NHL Player Safety department said Bennett would be giving a supplemental discipline hearing on Monday which could lead to suspension.
Bennett was called for charging Coleman at 12:19 of the third period with the Panthers holing a 4-3 lead.
Brayden Point scored on the ensuing power play to tie the score with the Lightning eventually winning 5-4 on Point’s second goal of the night with 1:14 remaining.
The hit by Bennett appeared to come as retaliation after Coleman took a shot at team captain Sasha Barkov. Bennett then rolled up on Coleman along the glass.
“Predatory hit,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said after Game 1. “I’ll let the league deal with that. But I was really happy that we scored on the power play on that. That was a tough one to watch.I’m just happy that Coleman’s OK.”
Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett will have a hearing today for boarding #GoBolts forward Blake Coleman in Game 1 last night. Was called as 2 minutes for charging in-game. #FlaPanthers pic.twitter.com/LOVJjiX4iS
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) May 17, 2021
It was one of a number of borderline plays on both sides of the ice. The two teams combined for 154 penalty minutes last Saturday night; on Sunday, the two were hit for 34 with Florida getting 18 of them.
The Lightning scored three of its five goals while on the power play and got its first on a shorthanded chance.
The NHL Player Safety department has not said whether there will be more discipline handed out for some borderline plays from Game 1.
When the hearing was announced on Twitter, a number of fans pointed out a similar hit from Tampa Bay’s Ryan McDonagh early in the game in which he boarded Anthony Duclair.
After being helped up, Duclair only missed a shift.
Ryan McDonagh gets a two minute minor for boarding Anthony Duclair pic.twitter.com/oT0nvrIrUA
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 17, 2021
If Bennett is suspended for Game 2, the Panthers could move Mason Marchment to center the second line although coach Joel Quenneville may be reticent to break up the fourth line of Marchment, Acciari and Ryan Lomberg after that trio created so much havoc when on the ice.
Florida could bring Eetu Luostarinen or Juho Lammikko back into the lineup.
Both teams took Monday off.
PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, ROUND 1
GAME 2: LIGHTNING AT PANTHERS
TAMPA BAY LEADS BEST-OF-7 SERIES 1-0
- When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
- Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise
- Tickets: AVAILABLE HERE
- Regular season series: Florida won 5-2-1
- TV: CNBC, BS-FLA
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM