December 17, 2019 / 3:05 AM / 2 months ago

Acciari's first hat trick takes Panthers past Senators

Noel Acciari, who had never produced a multi-goal game in his NHL career, posted a hat trick to lead the Florida Panthers to a 6-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night in Sunrise, Fla.

Dec 16, 2019; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari (55) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators during the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Huberdeau added a career-high four assists, and the Panthers scored five goals in the second for their biggest period of the season. Huberdeau leads the Panthers with 41 points.

Prior to the game, Panthers coach Joel Quenneville changed his lines, putting center Vincent Trocheck together with Acciari and Huberdeau, and the move worked.

Huberdeau, playing in his 500th career game, finished the night with 400 points.

Acciari, a 28-year-old grinder in his fifth NHL season, has eight goals this season — two more than he had last season with the Boston Bruins. His career high is 10, set in 2017-18.

The Panthers also got goals from Aleksander Barkov, Mike Matheson and Dominic Toninato. Barkov’s goal broke Florida’s 0-for-10 power-play drought.

The Panthers did all of the scoring without center Brian Boyle, who warmed up but was then scratched due to an upper-body injury.

Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, making his sixth straight start, recorded 29 saves in the win. It was the Panthers’ largest margin of victory this season, with the result snapping a three-game losing streak.

Ottawa got a goal from Artem Anisimov, and Anders Nilsson made 25 saves.

Florida opened the scoring with 10:18 left in the first period. Acciari alertly spotted a loose puck just outside the crease and shoveled it in as Keith Yandle got the primary assist.

The Panthers made it 2-0 at 1:18 of the second. Huberdeau skated around Ottawa’s defense with a shot fake before serving Acciari, who had a wide-open left side for the score.

Anisimov, from just below the right circle, scored 47 seconds later on a pass from Tyler Ennis, cutting Ottawa’s deficit to 3-1.

After Ennis’ second penalty of the game — this time for tripping Trocheck — Barkov scored his power-play goal from the doorstep on another pass from Huberdeau at 5:41.

At 10:33 of the second, Nilsson saved a MacKenzie Weegar shot, and Acciari pounced on the rebound, lifting it for a goal. He then flashed a teeth-missing smile in realization of his hat trick.

The Panthers completed their second-period onslaught with a one-timer from Matheson at 15:06 — following a Huberdeau pass — and a Toninato redirection at 19:28.

—Field Level Media

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