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On Thursday, Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau was named an NHL All-Star for the second time in his profession.
On Friday, he confirmed as soon as once more why that honor was justified with a four-point sport.
However his newest night time of dominance was overshadowed by one among his linemates.
Sam Bennett recorded his second hat trick of the season after scoring every of the Panthers’ remaining three objectives in a 7-1 rout of the Dallas Stars at FLA Live Area to enhance to 25-7-5 on the season and 20-3-0 at house. Florida is as soon as once more tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for probably the most factors within the NHL (55), however the Panthers have finished it in two fewer video games.
It was Bennett’s second hat trick of the season, with the primary approaching Oct. 16 in opposition to the New York Islanders.
“It’s very nice,” stated Bennett, who now has 14 objectives this season. “Any time you may generate some private success and assist the staff win is a superb feeling. I’m having fun with my time in South Florida. That’s for positive.”
As for Huberdeau, he now has 51 factors (14 objectives, 37 assists) by means of 37 video games this season after scoring a purpose and logging three assists on Friday. Just one participant in Panthers historical past hit the 50-point milestone quicker: Pavel Bure, who did it in 34 video games within the 1999-2000 season.
Solely three gamers within the NHL this 12 months have extra factors than Huberdeau: The Edmonton Oilers duo of Leon Draisaitl (53) and Connor McDavid (53) plus the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin (52).
“He’s been unbelievable this 12 months,” Bennett stated.
They each had been unbelievable on Friday.
Huberdeau was concerned in every of the primary two objectives, logging a secondary help on Gustav Forsling’s purpose 3:07 into regulation and feeding a go to Anthony Duclar rather less than six minutes later to offer Florida an early 2-0 edge that may maintain by means of the tip of the primary interval.
Huberdeau then scored a purpose of his personal 6:03 into the second interval, firing a wrist shot from the slot previous Jake Oettinger after receiving a go from Duclair.
It was a part of a four-goal interval for the Panthers. Carter Verhaeghe opened scoring within the body Bennett scored twice in lower than three minutes — first on the ability play after which at even power — to offer Florida a 6-0 lead after which sealed the hat trick with 4:06 left in regulation. Huberdeau had a secondary help on that purpose.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves, together with stopping the primary 21 pictures that got here his manner earlier than shedding the shutout on a low backhanded shot from Roope Hintz slightly greater than a minute into the third interval.
Bobrovsky is 6-0-1 in his final seven begins.
In six house video games since getting back from a two-week hiatus, the Panthers are outscoring opponents 36-13. They’ve scored at the least 4 objectives in every of these video games.
“We’ve got actually good chemistry,” Verhaeghe stated. “Every little thing’s going the correct manner — and yeah, pucks are stepping into.”
The Panthers on Friday loaned ahead Owen Tippett to the Charlotte Checkers, their American Hockey League affiliate, so as to make room on the lively roster for returning gamers.
The staff added forwards Mason Marchment and Patric Hornqvist together with goaltender Spencer Knight again to the roster in spite of everything three had beforehand been within the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.
Aleksi Heponiemi, who performed two video games on Florida’s fourth line whereas Hornqvist was out, was additionally despatched to Charlotte to clear roster house. Goaltender Jonas Johansson went into COVID-19 protocols on Thursday. These in protocols don’t depend in opposition to a staff’s roster till they’re cleared to return.
The Panthers shut a three-game homestand in opposition to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, with puck drop set for six p.m.
After that, the Panthers embark on a five-game highway journey through which they face the Calgary Flames (Tuesday), Oilers (Thursday), Vancouver Canucks (Friday), Seattle Kraken (Jan. 23) and Winnipeg Jets (Jan. 25).
This story was initially printed January 14, 2022 9:43 PM.
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