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Florida Panthers GameDay

Florida Panthers Open Up Can of Offense in Record-Setting First

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Fans at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise were treated to a lot of offense in the first period on Thursday night. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers appeared to get into a track meet early in the first period Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.

They won the sprint.

The Panthers ended up scoring seven goals in the first to set a franchise record for most goals in a single period as they go into the second period holding a 7-3 lead.

Fans at FLA Live Arena had the ‘We Want 10’ chants pretty early.

And, it looks like they’ll get their wish tonight.

NARRATOR/EDITOR: They did not.

The Panthers did score twice in the second but Sam Montembeault returned to the game and played strong after being pulled early as the Panthers were held to a 9-5 win.

The Canadiens opened things up with a Mike Matheson breakout goal just 16 seconds in.

Florida was up 2-1 at 3:17 and the game was tied again at 5:20 of the first.

The Panthers led 3-2 off a Gus Forsling goal at 6:04 — only to see the Canadiens score their third goal on their third shot at 8:18.

While Montreal pulled Montembeault after Forsling’s goal on Florida’s sixth shot, Sergei Bobrovsky did not have a single save.

He did not get his first save until the game was well in hand later on in the first.

Florida ended up scoring the final four goals of the first.

All told, 14 of Florida’s 18 skaters made the scoresheet in the opening period — with Carter Verhaeghe getting two goals in the first.

The Panthers’ goal scorers: Verhaeghe (2), Colin White, Forsling, Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart and Ryan Lomberg.

Matthew Tkachuk joined Verhaeghe in the two-point club with a pair of assists.

Bobrovsky ended the period with three saves as Florida outshot the Canadiens 17-6.

The 10 goals by the two teams tied the NHL record for most goals in the first period of a game set in 1987.

Florida also became the first team to score seven-plus goals in the opening period since the Hartford Whalers in 1985. That also came against Montreal.

The Panthers’ record for most goals in a single period was six — scored in the second period against Boston back on April 5, 2000.

Florida ended up scoring twice in the second period and ended within a goal of tying the franchise record for most goals in a single game.

The Panthers beat the Bruins 10-5 at Miami Arena on Nov. 26, 1997.

That record still stands on Friday.

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