Wennberg’s hat trick leads Panthers over Lightning 5-1

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning stops a shot by Alexander Wennberg of the Florida Panthers during third period action at the BB&T Center on May 8, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Joel Auerbach, 2021 Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Alex Wennberg scored three goals to lead the Florida Panthers past the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Saturday night, keeping alive Florida’s hopes of earning home-ice advantage in the upcoming first-round playoff series between the intrastate rivals.

The Panthers moved two points ahead of the Lightning and into second place in the Central Division.

Florida can clinch home-ice advantage if it finishes ahead of Tampa Bay in the standings after the teams meet again Monday night to end their regular seasons.

Wennberg’s hat trick was the second of his career.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Bennett each had a goal and an assist. Luke Schenn scored for Tampa Bay.

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