Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett went down hard late in the first period against the New York Rangers and had to be helped off the ice.
He did return in the second, however. Bennett did look like he was not feeling right at the end of the period and did not come out to start the third.
Coach Paul Maurice said he questioned whether he should allow Bennett to come back after seeing how he went into the boards.
”The trainers said he was good and he went back,’’ Maurice said afterward. “But he went to the net hard (in the second) and he can only play one way. I don’t think we set him back too much, it just started to tighten on him again.
“We can’t have this turn into something longer. If he has to miss the next three, so be it. We have a seven-day block where (he can rest). I don’t think there is a chance he is playing (Tuesday) but maybe.”
Bennett left Saturday’s game in the second period with what Maurice called an upper-body concern but he was back in the lineup against the Rangers.
This injury came when he and Filip Chytil got tangled up and Bennett went awkwardly into the boards.
Bennett was down for a few moments as head athletic trainer Dave DiNapoli treated him — and then helped him off the ice and into the Florida medical room.
Bennett was trying not to put any weight on his right leg.
Chris Tierney replaced Bennett centering the second line with Carter Verhaeghe — who scored his 23rd goal in the first — and Matthew Tkachuk to start the second.
After the first media timeout of the second, however, Bennett came back onto the ice and was shown taking a few laps around the ice.
This is a developing news story and will be updated.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: PPG Arena, Pittsburgh
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM 2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Season Series (Penguins lead 1-0): Pittsburgh 4, Panthers 2 (Dec. 15)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Penguins lead 55-35-7, 4 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Friday vs. Los Angeles Kings, 7 p.m.