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Panthers F Bennett out 'at least a week' with injury

Sam Bennett Panthers Sam Bennett - The Canadian Press

The Florida Panthers will be without forward Sam Bennett for "at least a week" after being injured during Tuesday's overtime Game 2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, head coach Paul Maurice told the media on Wednesday. 

After scoring the opening goal in the first period, Bennett was hit in the hand by a Brandon Montour’s slapshot in the second period, forcing him out of the game with an "upper-body injury."

The 27-year-old netted 20 goals and added 21 assists over 69 games with the Panthers in 2023-24, his third full season with the franchise. 

Bennett was a key player in Florida's postseason run last spring, recording five goals and 10 assists over 20 games before falling to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. 

The Panthers lead the Lightning 2-0 in their best-of-seven opening round series with Game 3 taking place in Tampa Bay on Thursday.