Bennett hat trick sparks Panthers to win against Islanders


Sam Bennett scored a hat trick to help the Florida Panthers to a 5-1 win against the New York Islanders at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida, on Saturday.

Anthony Duclair and Aleksander Barkov scored, and Jonathan Huberdeau got his 500th NHL point for the Panthers, who have won two straight to start the season. Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves.

Oliver Wahlstrom scored, and Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves for the Islanders, who have lost their first two games.

Bennett fended off New York defenseman Noah Dobson and scored on the rebound of a Radko Gudas shot to give Florida a 1-0 lead at 9:10 of the first period.

Bennett pushed the lead to 2-0 at 3:48 of the second period when he took a pass from Huberdeau and got past two defenders before circling the net for a wraparound goal. 

Ryan Pulock scored for the Islanders at 8:06, but the goal was overturned after the Panthers challenged for goaltender interference.

Duclair knocked down a stretch pass from MacKenzie Weegar at Florida’s offensive blue line and deked to his backhand for a breakaway goal and a 3-0 lead at 18:57.

Wahlstrom cut it to 3-1 when he gathered a loose puck below the left face-off circle and scored a power-play goal at 3:30 of the third period.

Bennett completed the hat trick when he carried the puck through the neutral zone and scored on a wrist shot from the high slot to make it 4-1 at 9:39. Matt Kierstad got the assist for his first NHL point.

Barkov made it 5-1 at 12:22.

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