December 21, 2019 / 3:13 AM / a month ago

Acciari scores 2nd straight hat trick as Panthers bomb Stars

EditorsNote: adds to second, third, sixth and ninth grafs

Dec 19, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) scores a goal against the Dallas Stars during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Noel Acciari scored his second straight hat trick, racking up three consecutive goals during Florida’s five-goal second period, as the Panthers defeated the Dallas Stars 7-4 on Friday night in Sunrise, Fla.

Pavel Bure is the only other Panthers player ever to record consecutive hat tricks, accomplishing the feat in February 2001. But Bure scored 437 career goals, including 60 each in back-to-back seasons.

Acciari, meanwhile, had scored just 18 goals in parts of his first four seasons with the Boston Bruins entering the current campaign. Signed as a free agent in July, Acciari — who had never had even a two-goal game until Monday night against the Ottawa Senators — now has a career-high 11 scores this season.

It’s been quite a run for Acciari, a 28-year-old undrafted player from Rhode Island who was signed by Florida as a fourth-line grinder type.

His improbable barrage started right after Panthers coach Joel Quenneville adjusted all four of his lines on Monday, and the unit of Acciari, Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck has erupted with a combined eight goals and 18 points in two games.

Huberdeau, Trocheck, Anton Stralman and Colton Sceviour also scored for the Panthers. Huberdeau had three assists, Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov had two apiece, and Acciari had one.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves as Florida ended the longest homestand in franchise history with a 5-4-0 record.

Stars goalie Ben Bishop was pulled in the second period after stopping just 14 of 20 shots on goal.

Dallas got two goals from Tyler Seguin and one each from Jamie Benn and Denis Gurianov. Corey Perry added two assists.

Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle played his 831st consecutive game, breaking out of a tie for fourth all-time with Dallas’ Andrew Cogliano on the all-time NHL list.

Florida, the fresher team since it had been off since Monday, outshot Dallas 15-7 in the first period, and the Stars were fortunate to trail only 2-1 after the first 20 minutes.

Huberdeau opened the scoring with a power-play goal, and Gurianov tied it when he found a loose puck in the low slot and zipped the puck past Bobrovsky’s stick.

But, with 14:48 expired in the period, Stralman’s fluttering shot from above the right circle — which would’ve gone wide of the net — bounced in off the left skate of Roope Hintz.

The Panthers never trailed again, scoring five straight goals in the second.

Slideshow (5 Images)

Acciari ended that run and got his hat trick on a short-handed penalty shot that went five-hole with 8:35 left in the second.

Asked what he was thinking about on his first career penalty shot, Acciari smiled and said: “Don’t fall.”

—Field Level Media

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