SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Alex Wennberg had his first profession hat trick because the Florida Panthers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Saturday night time.
MacKenzie Weegar and Frank Vatrano every had a aim and an help, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 44 photographs to assist the Panthers win their season-high fifth straight.
Signed as a free agent after taking part in six seasons with the Blue Jackets, Wennberg stated he was amped to be again in Columbus,
“I imply, it’s all the time a bit bit particular to play towards them,” the second-line heart stated. “It was a type of video games proper now you’re excited for this sport and simply the way in which it performed.
Panthers coach Joel Quenneville was additionally happy with Wennberg’s play.
“He had a heck of a sport, did a whole lot of good issues apart from scoring three,” Quenneville stated. “We’re joyful along with his sport. He’s including some velocity to his sport as properly.”
Florida honored Bobrovsky for his 500th NHL sport – performed Feb. 10, 2020, in Philadelphia – in a pregame ceremony, and the Russian goalie improved to 5-1-1 towards his former membership.
In his first sport again after a six-game absence, Panthers’ No. 1 heart Aleksander Barkov tallied the first help on Weegar’s aim.
Oliver Bjorkstrand and Zach Werenski scored for Columbus. Elvis Merzlikins made 22 saves via two intervals however was changed by Joonas Korpisalo, who stopped 12 photographs within the third.
After a scoreless first interval, Barkov discovered himself proper in the midst of a hard-working cycle within the second and despatched a slick cross via the slot to Weegar at 3:57.
Wennberg, who had Thursday’s time beyond regulation winner towards Detroit, scored 52 seconds later by ending a 2-on-1 cross from Vatrano.
Then he added his second of the night time from the left circle at 8:47 for a 3-Zero lead.
“Proper now it’s type of working my method a bit bit,” Wennberg stated.
Within the third, Bjorkstrand’s putback lower it to 3-1 at 2:46, however Vatrano regained the three-goal margin at 10:54 with a rebound tally on Owen Tippett’s breakaway.
“We simply give an excessive amount of totally free,” Columbus coach John Tortorella stated. “For a staff that struggles to attain, you possibly can’t surrender (two) free ones – actually three free ones. We had management of the puck on their fourth aim, the breakaway. We flip it over there.”
After Werenski scored, Wennberg full the hat trick into an empty-net for his 11th with 7 seconds left.
“Wenny’s a great participant,” Tortorella added. “I want him one of the best. I hope he doesn’t rating tomorrow. I hope he (performs dangerous) towards us, however I want him one of the best in any other case.”
SIGNED … AND PLAYING
The Panthers signed defenseman Matt Kiersted out of the College of North Dakota on Thursday and put him on the ice Saturday.
Kiersted, 22, was one in all seven defensemen within the lineup as coach Joel Quenneville opted to make use of simply 11 forwards. The lefty shot logged 12:47of ice time and blocked a team-high 4 photographs in his NHL debut.
Tortorella has overtly criticized the play of Jack Roslovic – acquired from Winnipeg with Patrik Laine on Jan. 23 – over the previous few video games and determined to make the Columbus native a wholesome scratch within the staff’s first sport in South Florida.
Roslovic, 24, has six targets and 16 assists in 31 video games for his hometown membership.
“Coach’s choice,” Tortorella stated. “I’m not going to get into a proof. My choice.”
The Panthers made a commerce Friday afternoon, sending ahead Vinnie Hinostroza to his hometown Chicago Blackhawks in alternate for minor-league ahead Brad Morrison.
A local of the western Chicago suburb of Bartlett, the 27-year-old Hinostroza didn’t register a degree in 9 video games in his first season with the Panthers, primarily skating on the fourth line.
Morrison, 24, has appeared in 9 whole video games in stints within the AHL and ECHL this season.
Of their 20th residence sport this season, the Panthers had 4,375 followers in attendance.
The 2 golf equipment will conclude their two-game set on Sunday.