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game recap

Acciari scores hat trick, Panthers defeat Senators

Huberdeau has four assists; Ottawa's three-game point streak ends

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Acciari posts hat trick

OTT@FLA: Acciari records first-career hat trick

Noel Acciari notched three goals against the Senators through only 30 minutes of play to earn the first hat trick of his career

  • 02:00 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Noel Acciari scored his first NHL hat trick, and Jonathan Huberdeau had four assists when the Florida Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-1 at BB&T Center on Monday.

Acciari was moved up to the second line alongside Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck after coach Joel Quenneville juggled his lines following three straight regulation losses.

 

[WATCH: All Senators vs. Panthers highlights]

 

Aleksander Barkov, Mike Matheson and Dominic Toninato scored for Florida (16-12-5). Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves in his sixth consecutive start, and Aaron Ekblad had two assists.

"It's an awesome feeling," Acciari said. "[Huberdeau] found me backdoor; [Trocheck], those guys are fun to play with, easy to play with in how skilled they are. They can find you in areas you didn't think they could, and easy tap-in goals there. It was a really exciting night."

Artem Anisimov scored for Ottawa (14-18-2), which saw its three-game point streak end (2-0-1). Anders Nilsson made 25 saves.

"Obviously, it's not the way we wanted it to go," Senators forward Logan Brown said. "It kind of slipped away from us there. We got away from our game, but I think we played hard in the third and started to get our game back for [Tuesday] night (at the Tampa Bay Lightning)."

Acciari gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 9:42 with a backhand from in front of the net and made it 2-0 at 1:18 of the second when he one-timed Huberdeau's backhand cross-crease pass.

"I don't know how he saw me," Acciari said. "He's special with the puck and he can find guys backdoor, probably one of the best in the League. I'll stand there all day if I have to."

Video: Acciari Earns First Career Hat Trick Against Sens

Acciari completed his hat trick at 10:33 of the second period with a rebound goal that made it 4-1; he had never scored more than one in his previous 209 NHL games.

Anisimov made it 2-1 at 2:05 of the second before Barkov scored on the power play at 5:41 to give Florida a 3-1 lead.

Matheson made it 5-1 at 15:16 with a one-timer off a Huberdeau feed before Toninato scored at 19:28 for the 6-1 final.

Florida's five goals in the second period were one more than it scored during its three-game losing streak.

Huberdeau's four assists were an NHL career high and gave him 400 points in his 500th game.

"It was just a night that was working for our line," Huberdeau said. "We played well. Obviously, [Acciari], unbelievable, hat trick. Really happy for him. With [Trocheck], I think we had a lot of chances. We played good. It was a great team effort."

Video: OTT@FLA: Matheson unloads one-time slap shot for goal

Florida's five goals in the second period were one more than it scored during its three-game losing streak.

"We didn't defend enough," Senators coach D.J. Smith said. "I thought the first period we had good energy, but [then] they had three layups tonight, and that's usually not the way we play. We've got to be harder in front of our net, and tonight we weren't."

 

They said it

"They've got big speed coming through the neutral zone and they really hang on to pucks. I think that pushes you back as a group. When that happens, you've got to make a decision to either stand hard at the blue line and risk being on [television] the next day, or do you accept the rush?" -- Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki

"We don't need to get carried away. It's one win, it's one game. It definitely killed that trend we're in and a better effort. That was a priority coming in." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville

 

Need to know

Senators defenseman Andreas Englund made his season debut; defenseman Nikita Zaitsev missed the game because of a lower-body injury sustained during a 4-3 overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. … Panthers center Brian Boyle was a late scratch because of an upper-body injury. … Barkov's goal was his 146th in the NHL, moving him past Stephen Weiss for fourth in Florida history. … Huberdeau came within one assist of tying the Panthers record set by Barkov on March 8, 2019, against the Boston Bruins.

 

What's next

Senators: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7 p.m.; SUN, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Dallas Stars on Friday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Video: Acciari nets hat trick, Huberdeau four assists in win

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