If asked to name a player who would close out the decade with back-to-back hat tricks, how long would it take you to choose Noel Acciari?
Before generating a hat trick for the Florida Panthers against the Ottawa Senators on Monday, Acciari had 23 goals in 209 career regular-season games. The 28-year-old set what was previously a career-high of 10 goals in 2017-18.
That was before Acciari joined Pavel Bure as the only players in Panthers history to score hat tricks in back-to-back games.
If earlier examples failed to hammer the point home that this is a very unexpected hot streak for Acciari, consider that his hat trick against the Senators was his first multi-goal game. By generating a hat trick against the Dallas Stars on Friday, Acciari now has two in a row. Acciari set a new career-high in the process, as he’s now at 11 goals. The gritty forward assisted on a Vincent Trocheck goal, too, giving him four points on the night and tying his career-high for points at 14.
Acciari arrived at his latest hat trick in style, too, capping it with a penalty shot. Watch the second hat trick in the video above, and check out Monday’s here:
Consider a few points about Acciari’s two hat tricks:
- All six of the goals happened against goalies. Teammates weren’t merely gifting the gritty forward an empty-netter or two.
- Sure, Acciari enjoys two great linemates in Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck. Huberdeau, in particular, has been red-hot this season, and both forwards fed Acciari great chances.
- Acciari keeps going to the net/open spaces, though, so don’t totally dismiss his work.
- Acciari hustled to draw that penalty shot and then scored it against Dallas.
- He didn’t just generate a hat trick on Friday. Acciari scored his three goals in just four minutes for a natural hat trick.
Actually, Acciari topped Bure when you consider the speediness of his hat trick:
Noel Acciari established a @FlaPanthers record for fastest three goals by one player (3:59), eclipsing the previous mark set by Steve Reinprecht on Oct. 30, 2009 (5:11). https://t.co/oqLndzpSi3 #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/fIVjcDa3OZ
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 21, 2019
The Panthers beat the Stars 7-4 after thomping the Senators 6-1.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.