Florida Panthers Forward Sam Bennett Leaves Game with Injury

During the Florida Panthers’ game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, forward Sam Bennett suffered an upper-body injury that forced him to leave the game early in the second period. Bennett, who had previously scored in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, was seen holding his wrist as he skated off the ice towards the Panthers’ locker room. Coach Paul Maurice provided limited information during his postgame media availability, only stating that the team would evaluate Bennett’s condition the following day.

Despite Bennett’s early departure, the Panthers managed to secure a 3-2 overtime victory over the Lightning. Vladimir Tarasenko scored the winning goal for Florida, assisted by Carter Verhaeghe. Verhaeghe’s backhander found the back of the net just under the crossbar, clinching the win for the Panthers. This marked Verhaeghe’s fifth career overtime winner, with the play initiated by Matthew Tkachuk and Anton Lundell before reaching Verhaeghe. Bennett had initially opened the scoring for Florida in the first period, with assists from Tkachuk and Verhaeghe, before his injury sidelined him for the remainder of the game.

Prior to exiting the game, Bennett had played a total of 7:42 of game time, showcasing his skill and impact on the ice. As a key player on Florida’s second line, the 27-year-old center displayed his offensive prowess by contributing to both the opening goal and Tarasenko’s subsequent goal. Bennett’s regular season performance, which included 20 goals and 41 points, highlighted his importance to the Panthers’ lineup. His absence in the remainder of the game due to the injury raised concerns about the team’s depth and ability to maintain momentum against the Lightning.

Despite Bennett’s injury, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky played a crucial role in securing the win for the Panthers. Bobrovsky made 21 saves throughout the game, including several highlight-reel stops that kept Florida in contention against their state rivals. With the victory, the Panthers now stand within two wins of defeating the Lightning in the postseason series, marking a significant step in their postseason journey. As the team navigates Bennett’s injury and looks ahead to upcoming games, they will need to regroup and make necessary adjustments to continue their success in the playoffs.

NHL

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