NEW YORK (AP) — Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett was suspended three games without pay by the NHL on Sunday for an illegal check to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Cedric Paquette during a game Saturday.
Bennett, who scored twice during Florida's 5-2 win, injured Paquette with his hit 3:09 into the first period. Paquette took possession of the puck in front of his own net and turned up ice to make a pass when Bennett glided in and drove a shoulder into Paquette's head.
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) January 3, 2022
Paquette left with a neck injury and did not return. Bennett wasn't penalized on the play.
The 25-year-old Bennett is considered a repeat offender under terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement and will forfeit just under $162,000. He has 11 goals and six assists in 26 games this season.
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