It's great to see Sammy getting rewarded because look at the way he goes to the net. He's hungry, he's relentless, he's on the puck. Suddenly, the red light is going on. He's being rewarded for his efforts. It's as plain and simple as this. I'm very happy for him. - Bob Hartley
RALEIGH, NC -- The Sam Bennett train keeps on rolling.
On Thursday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH, the 19-year-old Calgary Flames freshman continued his torrid offensive production with two goals in a 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets.
"It's a combination of a bunch of things," he said of his game. "My linemates, both (Backlund) and (Frolik), were flying tonight so that's huge, when your linemates are going. And just getting a lot of chances, a lot of good looks. It's a big win for us.
"Those two points are huge for us. It's a big road trip to jump back up in the standings. We need to get wins on the road."
Bennett's scoring binge started on Jan. 11 when he netted a goal against the San Jose Sharks, breaking out of a 18-game scoring slump.
He then made history when he rattled off four goals in a 6-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Jan. 13, becoming the third youngest player in NHL history to achieve such a feat, the youngest Flame to score a hat trick and hit the four-goal mark in a single game (19 years and 207 days).
The Holland Landing, ON product followed that up by scoring the lone goal in a 2-1 shootout setback to the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 16.
He now has eight goals in his last five games, including two multi-goal outings, and shows no signs of slowing down.
"It's great to see Sammy getting rewarded because look at the way he goes to the net. He's hungry, he's relentless, he's on the puck," head coach Bob Hartley said. "Suddenly, the red light is going on. He's being rewarded for his efforts. It's as plain and simple as this. I'm very happy for him."
Has he changed anything in his game? Tinkered with anything in order to help kick-start his production during that lengthy scoring drought?
"I don't change anything," he said. "Maybe my confidence might be a little bit higher now but I'm still playing the exact same way. (I'm) thinking about playing the right way and not cheating. It's just going for me now."
His teammates witness Bennett's dedication every day. They see the way he throws himself into games, the way he works on improving his play in his own zone, the level of responsibility he shows on both sides of the puck.
The goals, according to Johnny Gaudreau, are the result of sticking to basics and maintaining his work ethic.
"His game hasn't changed at all. I think he's been playing the same way he's been playing throughout the whole year," Gaudreau stated. "He's just finding the net now. When you go through those slumps of not finding the net, it's frustrating at times.
"But once you get that one, they start coming a bit more easily. He's playing great for us right now and he's being a big leader right now when we need him."
Bennett has found a good rhythm with his linemates, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. The trio has been the most productive line for the Flames recently, combining for eight points in their last three skates.
"With Benny, I'm happy for him," Frolik said. "Hopefully he's going to (stay) hot like that. He worked hard before, he just didn't get any goals and stuff. But now, he's getting rewarded. That's just how it is. Stick with it and work hard."