Alexander Wennberg of Stockholm, Sweden recorded his first career hat trick on Saturday. The 26-year-old center scored thrice for the Florida Panthers against his former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, in a 5-2 Panthers win at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.
Wennberg scored two of Florida’s three goals in the second period. He put the Panthers up 2-0 on a goal from Frank Vatrano of East Longmeadow, MA, and Patric Hornqvist of Sollentuna, Sweden at 4:49 of the second period. Then with just less than four minutes later, Wennberg put the Panthers up 3-0 with a game-winning goal from MacKenzie Weegar of Ottawa, Ontario and Gustav Forsling of Linkoping, Sweden, at 8:47 of the second period. Wennberg then scored the final goal of the game with an unassisted empty net goal with seven seconds left in the contest.
Overall, it was a strong game for Wennberg, as he was also a +3 and scored his hat trick on only four shots on goal. This was Wennberg’s second game-winning goal of the season. Interestingly, Wennberg also had a game winning goal in the Panthers’ prior game, a 3-2 Florida win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. The game-winner came in overtime, as Wennberg scored from Forsling and Vatrano at 1:25 of the extra frame.
Wennberg was one of three Panthers to have a multi-point game. Vatrano and Weegar each had one goal and one assist for two points.
This is Wennberg’s first season with the Panthers after six seasons with the Blue Jackets. Wennberg signed as a free agent with the Panthers on October 9, 2020. The terms of the contract were for one year and $2.25 million.
On the season, Wennberg has scored 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in 38 games. He is a +4 with eight penalty minutes, five power play points, two game winning goals, 51 shots on goal, 275 faceoff wins, 23 blocked shots, 15 hits, 19 takeaways and 12 giveaways.