SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers offense has been so potent at home of late, when fans started chanting they wanted ten goals midway through the second period Friday night against the Dallas Stars, well, it wasn’t too far fetched an idea.
Not with Sam Bennett scoring the way he was.
Florida did not get ten goals on Friday — but for a moment, it certainly looked like a possibility as Bennett scored twice in the second and ended up with a natural hat trick in a 7-1 win over the Stars.
The Panthers lost in a shootout to Dallas last week ago but made sure this one was a no-doubter at FLA Live Arena.
Or, as it could be called this season, FLA Don’t-Come-Out aLive Arena.
Dallas is just the latest victim of Florida’s absolute home dominance as the Panthers are now 20-3-0 in Sunrise.
Florida has also won its past six home games and, save for the first one against the Rangers, the games have not been remotely close.
The Panthers, during their six-game home winning streak, have outscored their opponents a whopping 36-13.
Florida has also now won seven of their past eight games.
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, perhaps overlooked Tuesday when he made 42 saves in a 5-2 win over Vancouver, was solid again on Friday but his shutout bid ended early in the third period with Florida leading 6-0.
Bobrovsky was looking for his first shutout since Nov. 2, 2019 against Detroit — and just his second as a member of the Panthers but Roope Hintz spoiled that 66 seconds into the third.
It was of the lone Dallas highlight on Friday.
Florida has now won seven of its past eight games — including six consecutive home games.
In those home contests, Florida is outscoring its opponents a whopping XX 29-12 XX
The Panthers come at teams in waves — and Dallas must have felt like it was back on Fort Lauderdale Beach on Friday night.
Florida led 2-0 by the end of the first compliments of goals from Gus Forsling and Anthony Duclair.
Forlsing’s first goal in 34 games — dating back to last May against Dallas — came 3:07 into the game.
Duclair and Huberdeau continued their on-ice bromance at 8:50 as Huberdeau found Duclair flashing to the net and fed him stride. Duclair got through three defensemen and then beat goalie Jake Oettinger with a slick forehand move.
Huberdeau would be on the receiving end of a nice Duclair pass as part of Florida’s four-goal onslaught in the second.
First, Carter Verhaeghe scored 5:33 in with Huberdeau making it 4-0 just 30 seconds later.
That would do it for Oettinger with Anton Khudobin brought in.
At 12:37, Bennett got his first of the night; he made it 6-0 three minutes later.
With less than five minutes remaining, Bennett got his second hat trick of the season.
Florida did not score 10, but seven looked pretty good, too.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Sam Bennett, Florida
2. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida
3. Anthony Duclair, Florida