Panthers F Sam Bennett sidelined at least one week

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett will be sidelined at least one week with an upper-body injury, coach Paul Maurice said Wednesday.

Bennett sustained the injury early in the second period of the Panthers’ 3-2 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round series.

Maurice said the injury to the second-line center was not as severe as the team originally feared.

“Better than we originally thought … out at least a week and will go from there,” Maurice said.

Bennett opened the scoring 6:16 into the first period on Tuesday and assisted on Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal just under nine minutes later.

Carter Verhaeghe scored 2:59 into overtime for Florida, which holds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 is Thursday in Tampa, Fla.

Bennett, 27, recorded 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists) in 69 games this season.

He has 285 points (137 goals, 148 assists) in 615 career games with the Calgary Flames and Panthers. He was selected by the Flames with the fourth overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.

–Field Level Media