Cam Tucker

Video: Sam Bennett notches first career hat trick … in the first period

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The once red-hot Florida Panthers had a dreadful start to Wednesday’s game against the Calgary Flames, and Sam Bennett — he’s just 19 years old, remember — made them pay.

Bennett recorded the hat trick, the first of his career, in the opening period, giving him nine goals on the season. He busted out of an 18-game scoring drought on Monday.

The Flames grabbed a 4-0 lead over the Panthers, currently on a six-game road trip and coming off an OT loss in Vancouver to halt their winning streak at 12 games, in the first period. Calgary also held a 15-5 lead in the shots-on-goal department.

Update: Roberto Luongo was pulled after the first period. Al Montoya began the second period in the Florida net.

 

 

Jets’ Myers fined $5,000 for cross check on Wingels

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Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers has had to dip into his wallet for a transgression committed Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

The National Hockey League fined Myers $5,000 for a cross check on Sharks’ forward Tommy Wingels during the third period of Tuesday’s game.

Myers received a major penalty for cross checking and a game misconduct.

Devils’ Farnham suspended four games for ‘violent, predatory’ hit on Jaskin

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The NHL has suspended New Jersey Devils forward Bobby Farnham four games for a late hit on St. Louis Blues forward Dmitrij Jaskin.

The incident happened during the third period of Tuesday’s game.

Farnham was given a major penalty for interference and a 10-minute misconduct.

“A full second after Jaskin has moved the puck, well after the time in which players are permitted to finish checks, Farnham delivers a violent, predatory hit to the defenseless Jaskin, slamming him to the ice,” according to a video released by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

“What elevates this hit to merit supplemental discipline is its extreme lateness and the predatory nature of the hit.”

Don’t look now but the Blackhawks have won six straight

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CHICAGO (AP) Phillip Danault scored his first NHL goal, Corey Crawford made 28 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Friday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jonathan Toews also scored for Chicago, and Crawford remained perfect in seven career starts against Buffalo. The Blackhawks have won nine in a row against the Sabres.

Ryan O'Reilly had Buffalo’s only goal in the Sabres’ sixth consecutive loss. Chad Johnson had 42 stops in a terrific performance.

Jamie McGinn made a great pass from behind the net to set up O’Reilly’s team-best 17th goal at 11:37 of the third, tying it at 1. But Danault put Chicago ahead to stay when he skated around Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and beat Johnson on the goaltender’s blocker side with 4:59 left.

The 22-year-old Danault then skated around, jumped up briefly and yelled “Wooo!” before looking toward the roof of the United Center. Toews added an empty-netter with 25 seconds remaining for his 15th of the season.

The only goal in the first two periods was set up by a crisp passing sequence by Chicago. Toews sent a cross-ice pass to rookie Erik Gustafsson, who made a nice touch pass to a streaking Hjalmarsson in the middle.

Hjalmarsson skated in and beat Johnson with a rising shot over the goaltender’s glove at 18:26 of the first. It was the defenseman’s second goal of the season and No. 18 for his career.

Evander Kane had two of Buffalo’s best chances in the first part of the game. He shot it off the outside of the left post with about 4 minutes to go in the first, and then was denied by Crawford on a strong glove save with 7:33 left in the second.

Chicago center Artem Anisimov had a breakaway chance in the first, but Johnson got over to stop his backhand try. Johnson also knocked away a prime opportunity for Toews about 30 seconds in the second.

NOTES: Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa has no goals and five assists in his last 14 games, but Chicago is 11-3 during his scoring drought. … Buffalo’s last win over Chicago was a 2-1 victory on Dec. 11, 2009. … Chicago D Duncan Keith had two assists.

Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

Video: Stamkos winner completes Lightning comeback against Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers, granted they had some bad luck in this game, coughed up a chance to move up in the Pacific Division standings. Conversely, their opponent on Friday, the Tampa Bay Lightning, needed a comeback effort to move closer to a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Lightning trailed the Oilers 2-0 going into the third period and came away with a 3-2 victory.

Steven Stamkos scored the winner — his 18th goal of the season — on what looked to be a pass in the crease, but the puck hit off the skate of Edmonton’s rookie Darnell Nurse and deflected in. That goal came just 1:01 after Victor Hedman tied the game.

The Oilers remain at the bottom of the Pacific Division in the West, while the Lightning move to within a point of the New Jersey Devils for the final Wild Card spot in the East.