Normally, if an NHL team scores three goals in the first period, it sets up great to get a win. In fact, that often might be enough offense to win a game, even without another goal being scored in the rest of the game. But Thursday’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers was not that kind of game. Far from it.
Montreal came out swinging on offense. The Canadiens scored 16 seconds into the game and had three goals in just over eight minutes. Unfortunately, Montreal’s defense was every bit as bad as its offense was good.
The three goals in the first 8:18 were only enough to tie the game. The Florida offense, meanwhile, continued its onslaught throughout the rest of the opening period, scoring four more goals to open up a 7-3 lead after the first period.
No individual team has scored that many goals in an opening period in more than 37 years. The 10 combined goals, meanwhile, tied an NHL record.
The Panthers and Canadiens combined for 10 goals in the 1st period, tying the NHL record for most goals in the 1st period.
Florida is the first team to score 7+ goals in the opening period since the Hartford Whalers on Oct. 19, 1985…also vs the Canadiens. pic.twitter.com/3GAQa3Pg3f
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 16, 2023
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN FLORIDA?! 🤯
The @FlaPanthers and @CanadiensMTL combined for ten goals in the opening frame tonight, marking just the third time in NHL history there have been that many goals in a first period.#NHLStats: https://t.co/jUyogkAnbf pic.twitter.com/aPbFftbwjO
— NHL (@NHL) March 17, 2023
Hockey fans had a lot to say about the absolutely wild opening 20 minutes.
TEN GOALS IN THE FIRST PERIOD 😳
No defense allowed in Canadiens-Panthers. pic.twitter.com/a5rt7RtRHR
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) March 17, 2023
looking at the Panthers/Canadiens first period score like pic.twitter.com/Dt8l0gx1Hb
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) March 16, 2023
Canadiens with the ball on the Panthers 34 and driving to take the lead… #NHL pic.twitter.com/pmNb25aBrt
— Brian Barrish (@BarrishUSAFL) March 16, 2023
now to take a big sip of water and check on the score of the Panthers-Canadiens game….
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) March 16, 2023
This Panthers/Canadiens game is drunk.
— Nate Lundy (@natelundy) March 17, 2023
Wildest thing about the Canadiens vs Panthers first period is that every goal was scored at even strength. Wut. pic.twitter.com/S7eZjY5zfq
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) March 16, 2023
The defenses were a little bit stronger in the second period. That said, it’s not like the offenses went away. Montreal narrowed the gap just 2:26 into the second period but the Panthers responded with two more to take a 9-4 lead after two periods.