The Florida Panthers had an offensive explosion in Thursday's 9-5 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The team set a new franchise record with a whopping seven goals in the first period. Florida's previous record for goals in a period came on April 5, 2000 when they scored six times against the Boston Bruins in the second period of that contest.
The Panthers had six different goal scorers in the opening period, but were paced by forward Carter Verhaeghe. The teams exchanged goals throughout the opening period until the Panthers took a 4-3 lead, thanks to a goal from defenseman Aaron Ekblad and never looked back after that.
Between the two teams, seven goals were scored in the first 10 minutes of the game.
good morning :) pic.twitter.com/zCP9kUGvR2— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) March 17, 2023
Florida also became just the fourth different team in NHL history to record a seven-goal opening period. The Panthers joined the Canadiens (eight goals on March 8, 1922 and March 10, 1951), Montreal Maroons (seven goals on Jan. 11, 1938) and the Hartford Whalers (seven goals on Oct. 19, 1985) as the only teams to accomplish the feat.
In addition, there were only two other games in NHL history in which teams combined to score 10 goals in an opening period. It happened on Oct. 26, 1982 between the Buffalo Sabres and Canadiens and on Jan. 16, 1987 in a contest between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks.
When it was all said and done, the Panthers and Canadiens produced 14 combined goals, which were netted by 12 different goal scorers. Panthers star winger Matthew Tkachuk led the way with a goal and three assists while Ekblad and Verhaeghe each added two goals apiece to pace the offensive effort.
With his three-assist performance, Tkachuk also became just the third player in Panthers history to record 60 assists in a single season on a night where his team made a ton of history.