Fun-N-Gun: Florida Panthers 9, Montreal Canadiens 5
SUNRISE — Florida Panthers fans have made it a point to start “We Want 10” chants during high-scoring games over the past two seasons.
They came close on Thursday night but they fell a goal short after being held off the scoresheet in the third period following a record-breaking start to a 9-5 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
It was a crazy, crazy game.
“I have never seen anything like that. In 25 years, never seen that many goals,’’ Paul Maurice said. “There were more goals than chances to score and that is a rarity. All I can say is it affected the game for both teams and I do not think anything on video is useful to the game of hockey.
It was almost Twilight Zone: Every puck went in. … The positive is we scored nine. Those games are the most difficult ones to win, the ones you’re supposed to win. They played the same game (Tuesday) and beat Pittsburgh.”
This game lost its structure almost immediately when Mike Matheson scored 16 seconds in and it got sent into a frenzy afterward.
Colin White answered back with his first goal in exactly a calendar month two minutes later and it sparked a first period that set multiple records.
Florida set a franchise record with seven goals in the opening period while Montreal followed up with three of its own to set the record for the fastest 10 goals in an NHL game.
Carter Verhaeghe scored the game’s 10th goal with a bank shot off Jake Allen 13:18 into the game to beat out the 10 goals the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames scored in 18:27 back on Jan. 16, 1986.
“If you came 30 minutes late,” Tkachuk said, “you missed it. Hope people did not get stuck in traffic. Definitely we have some things to clean up but a win is a win. … We did score a ton of goals, so we did a lot of good things as well.”
The Panthers slowed the game down to earn the win after scoring two more goals in the second period to build a five-goal lead.
They extended their season-long point streak to five games (4-0-1) while climbing within three points of the New York Islanders for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Florida has two games-in-hand on New York after having a four-day break in their schedule earlier in the week.
GOALS OF THE GAME
- Canadiens 1, Panthers 0 (0:16, 1st): Mike Matheson beat Sergei Bobrovsky with a quick wrist shot off rush following the opening face-off.
- Panthers 1, Canadiens 1 (2:43, 1st): Colin White potted his first goal in exactly a month off of a slick backhand feed from Nick Cousins.
- Panthers 2, Canadiens 1 (3:17, 1st): Carter Verhaeghe one-times a feed from Sam Bennett.
- Canadiens 2, Panthers 2 (5:20, 1st): Anthony Richard beats Bobrovsky from 35 feet out.
- Panthers 3, Canadiens 2 (6:03, 1st): Gus Forsling scores off of a nice pass from Matthew Tkachuk sending Sam Montembeault out of the game.
- Canadiens 3, Panthers 3 (8:18, 1st): Michael Pezzetta deflected a loose puck past Bobrovsky.
- Panthers 4, Canadiens 3 (9:09, 1st): Aaron Ekblad scored on a wrist shot from the right circle.
- Panthers 5, Canadiens 3 (10:33, 1st): Ryan Lomberg deflected a Radko Gudas shot.
- Panthers 6, Canadiens 3 (12:22, 1st): Sam Reinhart drove in scores just before a whistle that stopped play.
- Panthers 7, Canadiens 3 (13:18, 1st): Verhaeghe knocked one in off Jake Allen.
- Panthers 7, Canadiens 4 (2:26, 2nd): Rafael Harvey-Pinard deflected a Justin Barron shot.
- Panthers 8, Canadiens 4 (5:31, 2nd): Ekblad jammed in his second of the night from the doorstep on the power play.
- Panthers 9, Canadiens 4 (7:33, 2nd): Tkachuk sent a wrist shot right through Joel Edmunson’s legs and past Allen, sending him out of the game and Montembeault back in.
- Panthers 9, Canadiens 5 (5:47, 3rd): Rem Pitlick beat Sergei Bobrovsky with a slap shot on the power play off of a feed from Matheson.
COLBY’S 3 STARS OF THE NIGHT
1. Matthew Tkachuk, Florida (one goal, four points)
2. Carter Verhaeghe, Florida (two goals, three points)
3. Aaron Ekblad, Florida (two goals)
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
NEW JERSEY DEVILS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- National TV: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM 2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Season Series (Tied 1-1): Panthers 4, Devils 2 (Dec. 17); Devils 4, Panthers 2 (Dec. 21)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Devils lead 57-34-7, 7 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at Detroit, 7 p.m.