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Panthers' Bennett a game-time decision for Game 3

Florida Panthers Sam Bennett - The Canadian Press

Florida Panthers centre Sam Bennett will be a game-time decision for Friday's Game 3 against the Boston Bruins, according to head coach Paul Maurice. 

The best-of-seven second round series is tied at a game apiece with the series shifting to Boston for the next two games. 

The 27-year-old Canadian hasn't played since Game 2 of Florida's opening round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to an upper-body injury. Bennett missed the last three games of that series as well as Monday's Game 1 loss.

Maurice told the media after Game 1 that Bennett should be able to return sometime before Game 5. 

Bennett had a strong 2023-24 season, scoring 20 goals and 21 assist over 69 games in his fourth campaign with the Panthers.

 A fourth overall pick by the Calgary Flames in 2014, Bennett was a key member of the Panthers' run to the Stanley Cup Final last spring, netting five goals and adding 10 assists over 20 postseason games.