Bruins-Panthers rivalry reaches new level after Bennett hits Marchand

Bruins-Panthers rivalry reaches new level after Bennett's attack on Marchand originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The rivalry between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers continues to grow as their Eastern Conference second round series moves forward.

Panthers center Sam Bennett will not be fined or suspended for a reported hit on Bruins left wing Brad Marchand during the first period of Friday night's Game 3 at TD Garden.

Steve Conroy of boston herald reported Saturday that Bennett would not face any discipline from the NHL.

Bennett hit Marchand hard near the Bruins bench, knocking the Boston captain down. Marchand was slow to get up, and although he played until the end of the second period, he missed the entire third period due to an upper body injury. No penalties were imposed on the game.

Early replays of the hit didn't look too serious, but from other angles — including the one in the video below — it's fair to wonder if Bennett hit Marchand in the head.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery had some interesting comments on the Bennett hit after Saturday's practice.

“In real time, my eyes weren't there because the puck had left that area,” Montgomery told reporters. “But after looking at it, it has a history with Bennett. Tough player, but clear evidence of what happened. People may say it was not done intentionally, but we have our own view on it.

This angle, shared by TNT on Sunday, clearly shows that Bennett hit Marchand in the head:

Marchand is considered “day-to-day” according to Montgomery.

Panthers head coach Paul Morris surprisingly had a different view regarding Bennett's hit on Marchand.

Bennett made a similar hit on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matthew Nease during the second round of last season's playoffs. He was not suspended, but Nese missed the last three games of the series due to injury.

Bennett returned to the Panthers lineup in Game 3 on Friday after missing the previous five games due to injury.

The Panthers won Game 3 6-2 and took a 2-1 series lead entering Game 4 at TD Garden on Sunday night.

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