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Best Panthers Hat Tricks of 2019-20 (So Far!)

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

Hat Tricks of the 2019-20 Season

Hat Tricks of the 2019-20 Season So Far

A collection of the Florida Panthers hat tricks so far from the 2019-20 season

  • 04:00 •

The Florida Panthers certainly helped boost hat sales around South Florida this season.

Sending caps and rubber rats flying to the ice on a regular basis throughout the 2019-20 campaign, the high-flying Panthers have already matched their franchise record with five hat tricks so far this season.

The only other time they achieved that feat was back in 1999-00, with Pavel Bure posting four of the five hat tricks en route to the first of two consecutive Rocket Richard Trophies he'd capture for the Panthers.

This time around, however, the goals were a lot more spread out.

Of their five hat tricks this season, the Panthers received at least one from four different players: Mike Hoffman, Noel Acciari (times two!), Frank Vatrano and Mark Pysyk. And, unlike Bure, two of the players from this year's group weren't exactly known for their goal-scoring acumen prior to their achievement.

In fact, before their hat tricks, Acciari and Pysyk had never even posted multi-goal games in the NHL.

But, in the end, doesn't that make this season's crop of hat tricks that much more unforgettable?

With that being said, continue below to revisit all of the team's hat tricks from this season… so far!

HOFFMAN LICKS HIS CHOPS

Lighting the lamp three times -- including twice on the power play -- Mike Hoffman helped lead the Panthers to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in their Home Opener at BB&T Center on Oct. 5.

"We wanted to come out and have a strong presence on home ice," Hoffman said after the game. "The fans were into the game right from the start. It was a fun building to play in, and we wanted to put on a good performance for them. Throughout the whole lineup, everyone was there ready to go."

One of the league's most-lethal shooters on the man advantage, Hoffman netted his first goal when he took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau and beat Andrei Vasilevskiy to make it 1-0 at 9:39 of the second period. Then, sent right back to the power play, he blasted home a one-timer to make it 2-0 at 11:05.

"You lick your chops when you get those opportunities," Hoffman said of the goals. "Obviously there's some good players on our power play that can find me in open ice. I try and get open as much as I can."

Wasting no time in completing his hat trick, Hoffman tallied his third goal of the night just 17 seconds after the puck dropped in the third period. Cutting through the slot, he caught a piece of a long shot from Aaron Ekblad and re-directed it past Vasilevskiy into the twine to put the Panthers on top 4-1.

Video: TBL@FLA: Hoffman redirects puck to complete hat trick

The hat trick stands as the second of Hoffman's career, with the first coming back on Nov. 30, 2016.

"Tonight everything seemed to be working," said Hoffman, who leads the Panthers in goals (29) and power-play goals (T-11) so far this season. "It's a fun game to play when things are going your way."

ACCIARI MAKES THE RATS FLY

For Noel Acciari, it was an unforgettable sight.

In posting three goals to achieve his first-career hat trick and help lead the Panthers to a 6-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 16 at BB&T Center, the hard-nosed forward, who had never even scored two goals in an NHL game before, was treated to a dark sea of rubber rats flying down onto the ice.

"It's an awesome feeling," Acciari said of the rodent-related spectacle. "It's part of being a Panther."

Moving up from the fourth to the second line before to the game, Acciari joked that one of the only thoughts running through his head prior to puck drop was simply "don't mess up." In the end, he did that and more, carving out valuable real estate around the crease to cash in on a trio of gritty goals.

After scoring the lone goal of the first period to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission, Acciari quickly doubled that mark to 2-0 just 1:18 into the second when he collected a gorgeous feed from Jonathan Huberdeau and one-timed the puck past Anders Nilsson into the net.

Video: OTT@FLA: Huberdeau sets up Acciari's second tally

"I don't know how he saw me," Acciari said of Huberdeau's dish on his second goal. "He's special with the puck. He finds guys backdoor, probably one of the best in the league. I'll stand there all day if I have to."

Less than 10 minutes after his second goal, Acciari completed his hat trick when he jumped on a loose puck in the slot and sent a backhand shot past Nilsson to give Florida a commanding 4-1 lead at 10:33.

"Those guys are very skilled guys," Acciari said of the success he found with his new linemates. "It's fun to play with them. Just get to the net and good things happen. Those guys found me in the right spots."

THE SECOND NOEL

Apparently a once-in-a-lifetime event can actually happen twice… and in less than week.

Bestowed the nickname "Noel Gretzky" from teammates, Acciari tallied a hat trick for the second consecutive game to guide the Panthers to a 7-4 win over the Dallas Stars at BB&T Center on Dec. 20.

"It feels just as good," Acciari said. "As a line, we are playing well together."

Joining Hall of Famer Pavel Bure, who achieved the feat in 2000-01, as the only players in franchise history to post back-to-back hat tricks, Acciari notched his first goal of the night when he re-directed a pass into the back of the net to extend Florida's lopsided advantage to 5-1 at 7:26 of the second period.

Then, just 32 seconds later, he found twine again when he buried a one-timer to make it 6-1 at 7:58.

As if the drama couldn't have been more heightened, Acciari, with two goals already in his back pocket, was awarded a penalty shot at 11:25. Full of confidence as he corralled the puck at center ice, he faked a shot before slipping the puck through Anton Khudobin's pads to complete his hat trick and make it 7-1.

Scoring all three goals within a span of 3:59, Acciari's hat trick stands as the fastest in franchise history.

"The whole bench was pretty excited about it," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said of the mood on the bench after the goal. "I'm glad they awarded him the penalty shot. It was fun for everybody knowing that he's got the magic touch right now. I think everybody in the whole building was happy for him."

One of the league's breakout performers this season, Acciari has recorded 20 goals in 66 games. Prior to joining the Panthers this summer, he'd accumulated just 18 goals in 180 games with the Boston Bruins.

VATRANO GOES WILD IN THE WINDY CITY

Helping Joel Quenneville come out on top in his return to Chicago, Frank Vatrano posted the second hat trick of his career to help Florida squeak out a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks at United Center on Jan. 21.

"Frankie had that touch in the second period," said Quenneville, who previously led Chicago to three Stanley Cups. "He made a couple great shots, quick shots. Frankie's been on a little bit of a roll here. He does other good things, definitely gives us some speed in the game. He's got some scoring touch."

Vatrano showed off that touch early in the second period when he took a pass from Dominic Toninato and, with one quick flick of the wrist, wired a shot from the right circle past Robin Lehner and into the twine to extend Florida's lead to 2-0 at 6:14. Yet, somehow, that wasn't even his best goal of the game.

Later in the middle frame, Aaron Ekblad dazzled when he shipped a rocket of a pass through a pair of defenders across the ice and onto the stick of Vatrano, who then rifled a shot from the center of the left circle straight through Lehner's pads to increase the advantage even further to 3-0 at the 10:04 mark.

Video: FLA@CHI: Vatrano goes five-hole on Lehner

"Ekie [Ekblad] did a good job of keeping it on sides, and Boyler [Brian Boyle] made a great play getting it up to him," Vatrano said of the impressive sequence. "For me, with the tough angle I came at, I saw five-hole and took a little bit off it."

Packaging all three goals in second period, Vatrano completed his hat trick with just 37 ticks left on the clock when he flew towards the net and tipped in a centering feed from Mike Hoffman to make it 4-1.

Vatrano's only previous hat trick came back on Dec. 18, 2015.

"It's always nice to be rewarded like that," said Vatrano, who had produced 16 goals in 69 games prior to the NHL's pause. "I've said before that scoring one goal in this league is hard enough, so obviously a hat trick is a great honor. It obviously couldn't have been done without the other guys on the ice."

THE HYBRID HAS HIS DAY

With Aleksander Barkov nursing an injury, Mark Pysyk stepped up to fill the void.

Entering the game with four goals all season, Pysyk notched the first hat trick of his NHL career to help lead the Panthers to a huge 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena back on Feb. 3.

"He does it all," Jonathan Huberdeau said of Pysyk, who earned the nickname "The Hybrid" for his ability to slide back and forth between playing at forward and defense this season. "It's impressive."

Doing all of his damage from the fourth line, Pysyk broke the ice for the Panthers when he took a pass from Mike Matheson -- who made a stunning pass through two defenders after some nifty moves -- and one-timed a shot into the cage from just outside the crease to make it 1-0 at 11:30 of the first period.

"I think I was in front of the net the whole shift," Pysyk said of the goal.

On his second goal, Pysyk, in front again, maneuvered around a defender before banging in a rebound following a long wrist shot from Matheson to cut Florida's deficit down to 3-2 at 2:20 of the third period.

Video: FLA@TOR: Pysyk cleans up rebound for second goal

Then, with just 48 seconds remaining in regulation and the Maple Leafs pulling their goaltender in favor of the extra attacker, Pysyk put the game away when he forced a turnover in the neutral zone, powered through a trip and then whacked the puck into the empty net to cap off his hat trick and lock in the win.

"They were all beating me up, roughing me up a little bit," Pysyk said when asked about the frenzied reaction from his teammates following his hat trick-clinching goal. "It's a lot of fun."

In 58 games this season, Pysyk has already set new career-highs in both goals (9) and points (18).

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