Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari of Johnston, RI recorded his first National Hockey League career hat trick on Monday. Acciari scored thrice in the Panthers’ 6-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.
Acciari opened the scoring at 9:42 of the first period from Keith Yandle of Boston, MA and Jonathan Huberdeau. Acciari then put the Panthers up 2-0 at 1:18 of the second period from Huberdeau again. The 2-0 goal would end up being the game winning goal. Then at 10:33 of the second period, Acciari notched the hat trick as he scored from MacKenzie Weegar and Aaron Ekblad to put Florida up 4-1.
Even though Acciari led the Panthers in goals with three, he did not lead the team in points. That is because Huberdeau had a four point game as he had four assists. The Panthers had a third player with a multi-point game as Ekblad had two assists. The other Panthers players with a goal were Aleksander Barkov, Mike Matheson and Dominic Toninato of Duluth, MN.
On the season, Acciari has eight goals and two assists for 10 points in 30 games. He is a -3 with four penalty minutes, three game winning goals, 43 shots on goal, 218 faceoff wins, 46 blocked shots, 53 hits, 14 takeaways and 11 giveaways.
This is Acciari’s first season with the Panthers. He played his first four NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, and then signed as a free agent with Florida on July 1, 2019. The terms of the contract were three years and $5 million. It is interesting that the Panthers had so much interest in Acciari when he only had 18 goals and 13 assists for 31 points in 180 games with Boston.
Despite his lack of offense, the fact that Acciari has an excellent takeaway to giveaway ratio, probably increased his financial value. With the Bruins in four seasons, he had 66 takeaways and 30 giveaways. If you add Acciari’s Panthers statistics, he has 80 takeaways and 41 giveaways.
With the win over the Senators, the Panthers moved to third place in the Atlantic Division with 37 points. At 16 wins, 12 regulation losses and five losses in extra time, Florida is one point up on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.