Panthers’ Sam Bennett suspended 3 games for illegal check to head

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Sunday evening that Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett has been suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Cedric Paquette.

The incident happened early in the first period of Florida’s 5-2 win over the Canadiens on Saturday.

You can see the play and the NHL’s description in the video above.

As Paquette attempted to play the puck in the middle of the ice in front of his own goal, Bennett came flying in and checked the Montreal forward directly in the head, making little effort to avoid that contact.

There was no penalty called on the play during the game.

This is the second time in less than a calendar year that Bennett has been suspended, also earning a one-game suspension for an illegal play in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Bennett has 11 goals, six assists, and 17 points this season in 26 games for the Panthers.

The suspension will cost him $161,890.24 in salary.