CALGARY -- Calgary Flames rookie forward Sam Bennett had the first hat trick of his NHL career in the first period Wednesday against the Florida Panthers at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Bennett, who scored a fourth goal late in the third period of the Flames' 6-0 win, is the youngest player in Flames history to get a hat trick, at 19 years, 207 days, the Elias Sports Bureau said. The previous mark was held by Jim Peplinski, who scored four goals against the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 17, 1981, at 21 years, 24 days.
"It's a great feeling," Bennett said. "I think I've been getting a lot of chances and I'm getting the bounces. It's a great feeling to get rewarded, for sure."
Bennett, the fourth pick at the 2014 NHL Draft, scored his first of the night 56 seconds into the game. After Johnny Gaudreau put Calgary up 2-0 at 5:52, Bennett scored at 12:01 and again at 17:01 to give the Flames a 4-0 lead.
On his third goal, Bennett lifted a rebound of defenseman Deryk Engelland's shot over Florida goalie Roberto Luongo's glove.
Bennett's first-period hat trick was the first in the NHL since Jan. 18, 2014, when Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis scored three of his four goals in a game against the San Jose Sharks in the first, according to Elias.
He has 10 goals in 42 games despite an 18-game drought that ended when he scored Monday in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
"I'm definitely really happy for him," Flames goalie Jonas Hiller said. "He has so much skill. It's not easy as a 19-year-old. Everybody's eyes are on you, and when things don't go well it's tough to find your way out. He definitely found a way.
Bennett made his NHL debut on April 11, in the Flames' final game of the 2014-15 regular season. He then had three goals and an assist in 11 games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.