Rookie Sam Bennett had four goals including a first period hat trick and Jonas Hiller had 15 saves as the Calgary Flames won 6-0 on Wednesday, handing the Florida Panthers their first regulation loss in 14 games.
Johnny Gaudreau and Mason Raymond also scored for Calgary (20-20-2), which had lost four of their previous five home games. The Flames begin a five-game road trip in Edmonton on Saturday.
Florida (26-13-5) had entered the night as the NHL’s hottest team having gone 12-0-1 since losing in regulation to Boston on Dec. 12. But playing their fifth game in a row, the Panthers ran out of gas, getting outshot 36-15.
Dec. 12 was also the last time Hiller appeared in a game with Karri Ramo having taken over as the Flames No. 1 goalie, getting 12 starts in a row before finally getting a rest.
Hiller, who improves to 5-4-0, entered the night with an ugly .862 save percentage.
Luongo, replaced by Al Montoya to start the second period, yielded four goals on 15 shots. He falls to 19-12-4.
Immediately after scoring his first goal in 19 games on Monday, Bennett made a gesture of removing the monkey off his back, a reference to his 47 day scoring drought. He wasted little time scoring again, one-timing a set-up from Jiri Hudler past Luongo just 56 seconds into the game.
Bennett completed his first-ever NHL hat trick at 17:01 of the first period when he backhanded a Deryk Engelland rebound under the crossbar to make it 4-0. The Scotiabank Saddledome crowd jumped to its feet and hats flew onto the ice in recognition of the feat. At 19 years and six months, he became the youngest Flame to do so.
Bennett added his fourth with 25 seconds left in the game.
After Gaudreau’s 19th goal – unassisted – made it 2-0 at 5:52, Bennett scored again at 12:01. After Mikael Backlund gained the blue line, Bennett picked up the puck, sliced his way between the Panthers’ defence and attempted a deke, but instead had the puck slid under Luongo.
The only goal over the final 40 minutes came at 13:20 of the second when Raymond steered a David Jones pass behind Montoya.
Notes: Florida head coach Gerard Gallant missed the game after the passing of his mother. Assistant coach Mike Kelly filled in..... Panthers D Aaron Ekblad (concussion) missed his second game... Hudler (groin) returned after missing three games while Calgary C Joe Colborne was a healthy scratch... Florida’s Jaromir Jagr (4-2-6) and Aleksander Barkov (1-4-5) both had five-game point streaks snapped.Report Typo/Error