Panthers’ Sam Bennett banned 3 games for hit to head

NHL Hockey

NEW YORK (AP)Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett wassuspended 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.

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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