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Postseason Primer: 20-Goal Scorers

by Staff @FlaPanthers / FloridaPanthers.com

With the new "Postseason Primer " series at FloridaPanthers.com, fans will be able to look back at some of the key players, statistics and more from the Florida Panthers 2019-20 regular season. As the team continues to prepare for its upcoming matchup against the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Qualifier, later this summer, these articles are designed to provide fans with everything they'll need to know before the puck drops.

For the second consecutive season the Florida Panthers had five different players reach the 20-goal mark.

Joining the Winnipeg Jets as the only two teams in the NHL to have five 20-goal scorers, the Cats ranked sixth in the NHL for goals (228) and goals-per-game average (3.30) over 69 games in the 2019-20 campaign.

Below, we take a look at the Cats top goal contributors this season.

Mike Hoffman - 29 Goals

Florida's leading goal scorer two years running produced his sixth consecutive 20-plus goal year by lighting the lamp 29 times. The 30-year-old winger started the season on fire scoring the Cats' first goal of the season in their season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 3, before producing the franchise's first opening night hat trick two days later in Florida's home opener against the Lightning.

On home ice, Hoffman's goal scoring prowess was on full display as Panthers fans witnessed him score a team-leading 17 times. Of those 17 goals, a team-high six were scored on the power play.

In just his second season as a Panther, Hoffman became the fifth player in franchise history to record 20-plus goals in each of his first two seasons with the club. From Jan. 2 - Jan. 21, he scored five times over a team-best 10-game point streak and just prior to the NHL's pause, he put together a five-game goal streak from Feb. 20 - Feb. 29.

The native of Kitchener, Ontario led the Panthers with 214 shots on goal and tied for the team lead in power-play goals (11). Hoffman had a knack of scoring for the Cats in crucial situations this season which was in part due to his team-leading 11 goals scored in the game's third period.

Over Florida's final 20 games of the season, Hoffman led Florida with 11 goals.

Evgenii Dadonov - 25 Goals

For the third straight season since returning to Florida from the KHL, Dadonov has surpassed the 20-goal mark. Currently sitting nine goals shy of his 100th NHL goal, Dadonov led the Cats with 16 goals scored on the road and tied with Hoffman for the team lead in power-play tallies.

In the month of January, the 31-year-old native of Chelyabinsk, Russia produced a team-best nine goals and four power-play goals in 10 games.In Florida's first game of 2020 against the Ottawa Senators, Florida's third-round pick in 2007 tallied twice, kicking off a three-game goal streak before notching a four-game goal streak from Jan. 16 - Jan. 21.

Jonathan Huberdeau - 23 Goals

Known best for his top-end playmaking and passing skills, the 2020 NHL All-Star compiled his third consecutive 20-plus goal campaign en route to becoming the Panthers scoring leader this season with 78 points.

Huberdeau kicked the season off with a team-leading seven goals and 15 points (tied) over 13 games in October. In December, he put together an astounding 22 points in 13 games, a point total that included six goals.

It was a memorable season for Huberdeau who supplanted Olli Jokinen for the Panthers franchise points record. With a franchise-best 437 points in a Panthers uniform, the 27-year-old native of Saint-Jerome, Quebec has scored 148 goals for Florida, four shy of passing Hockey Hall of Famer Pavel Bure's 153. His 113 career even-strength markers stand three away from passing Jokinen (115) for the most Panthers goals scored at even-strength.

Although still searching for his first career hat trick, he registered four two-goal games for the third straight season. One of those two goal games came on the road against the Colorado Avalanche where Huberdeau potted the game-tying goal with 1:30 remaining in the third period before sealing the game for the Panthers in OT.

Aleksander Barkov - 20 Goals

The Panthers captain climbed the franchise goals list this season with his fifth consecutive 20-goal campaign. With his 153rd NHL goal on Feb. 20 against the Anaheim Ducks, Barkov surpassed Bure for third on the Panthers all-time goals list. He now stands three goals shy of passing Scott Mellanby (157) for the second-place spot.

Although Barkov's first 13 points of the season were all assists, the 24-year-old was heated up after scoring his first of the season. From Oct. 30 - Nov. 10, Barkov posted goals in five consecutive games which helped comprise a season-high seven-game point streak that included six goals.

From the start of November to the end of December, no Panther scored more goals than the Tampere, Finland native as he found the back of the net 12 times. Of those goals, a team-best five goals were scored on the man advantage and two were game-winners.

Noel Acciari - 20 Goals

When the Panthers acquired Acciari via free agency on July 1, he was seen as a physical, high-energy player with playoff experience, who was capable of chipping in offensively, but was known more for his play without the puck. What the Panthers received in the 28-year old New Englander was the most pleasant of surprises.

Emerging this season with a career-high 20 goals, including a team-leading 19 goals scored at even-strength and five game-winning goals, the 2019 Stanley Cup Finalist became one of Florida's most reliable forwards.

Doubling his previous career-high for goals this season, the native of Johnston, R.I., became one of the most talked about players in the NHL following him scoring back-to-back hat tricks in mid-December. His back-to-back hat tricks joined him with Bure as the only two Panthers in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

From the start of December to the NHL All-Star Break, Acciari's 13 goals in 23 games tied for the most on the club, scoring 12 times at even-strength and once shorthanded. Three of those markers were game-winning goals. Over that span, the first-year Panther owned a league-leading 34.2 shooting percentage.

Although he demonstrated a level of offense he had not yet shown in the NHL, the hard-nosed forward still played his game as advertised, leading all NHL forwards with 103 blocked shots while pacing the Cats with 121 hits. For his contributions this season, Acciari was named the Panthers 2019-20 Bill Masterton Trophy nominee for perseverance and dedication to hockey.

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