Bennett, Flames torch Panthers 6-0 in Calgary
Road-weary Cats suffer worst loss of the season in Cowtown beatdown
After seeing their 12-game winning streak halted in Vancouver, the Florida Panthers had their 13-game point streak come crashing to an ugly end with a 6-0 loss to the Calgary Flames.
Rookie Sam Bennett torched the Panthers for four goals, victimizing starter Roberto Luongo three times in the first period and capped off his career night with a goal against Al Montoya, who came on in relief to start the second period, with 25 seconds left in regulation time, giving him ten on the season.
After Bennett opened the scoring with a one-timer just 56 seconds into the game, from Jiri Hudler and Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Gaudreau notched an unassisted tally at 5:52 to put the Flames in firm control.
Later in the period, Bennett completed his hat-trick with goals coming exactly five minutes apart. Mikael Backlund and Hamilton combined to set up him up at 12:01 and Deryk Engelland and Josh Jooris drew the assists on the 19-year-old's third marker of the night.
Mason Raymond bagged the other Calgary goal in the second period, deflecting a David Jones feed by a scrambling Montoya with the second assist going to defenseman Mark Giordano.
Calgary dominated the game from start to finish, out-shooting Florida by a 36-15 margin, which included a 15-5 disparity in the opening twenty minutes when the Flames put the game out of reach for all intents and purposes.
The Panthers are off until Sunday, when they conclude the long six-game road trip in Tampa Bay. They'll need to recharge and give a much better effort to bring home a win. Florida was been pulling out a lot of close games lately despite being outplayed. Maybe this game will serve as a needed wake-up call.
Paper & Fire
- In addition to his jaw-dropping four goals, which require only five shots, Sam Bennett finished the game with an eye-popping +5 rating. Bennett is the youngest player in Flames to score a hat-trick and third-youngest in NHL history to bag four goals, behind Toronto's Jack Hamilton (1943-44) and Washington's Bobby Carpenter (1981-82).
- The loss in regulation was Florida's first in over a month, with the last time coming on December 12th in Boston.
- Assistant coach Mike Kelly filled in for bench boss Gerard Gallant, who was dealing with the loss of his mother. Our thoughts are with you, GG!
- Jonathan Huberdeau was one of a few Cats to actually show up on the stat sheet, leading the team with five shots on goal. Reilly Smith was the only other Panther with two.
- Jonas Hiller posted his first shutout of the season and 23rd of his NHL career. The win pushed Hiller's record above .500 at 5-4.
- On a night chock full of minuses, Alex Petrovic had the toughest go of it, finishing with a -4 rating.
- The Panthers finished the game with just eight hits. Defenseman Steven Kampfer lead the way with three.
- Roberto Luongo stopped 11 of the 15 shots he faced while Al Montoya turned away 19 of 21 over the final forty minutes.
- war-on-ice has the ugly truth in its advanced stats breakdown for you right here.
- Throw on a flame retardant suit and hit Matchsticks & Gasoline for the other side of the rout./
HIghlights (courtesy of NHL.com)