Boston Herald

Panthers have 7-goal 1st period in 9-5 victory over Canadiens


SUNRISE, FLA. >> Carter Verhaeghe scored twice in Florida’s franchise-record, seven-goal first period and the Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 9-5 on Thursday night.

Florida scored six goals in the second period against Boston on April 5, 2000. Against Montreal, the Panthers came just shy of tying the franchise record for goals in a game set in 1997, going scoreless in the third period.

The teams combined for 10 first-period goals to tie the NHL record for goals in a first period. It also was the fastest first 10 goals in an NHL game, with Florida getting the 10th goal at 13:18.

Aaron Ekblad also scored twice for Florida, helping the Panthers pull within three points of the final wild-card spot. They are 4-0-1 in their last five.

Ekblad, Colin White, Gustav Forsling, Ryan Lomberg and Sam Reinhart also scored for Florida as the Panthers led 7-3 after one. Florida padded its lead with goals from Ekblad and Matthew Tkachuk in the second period.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves for Florida.

Mike Matheson, Michael Pezzetta, Rem Pitlick, Anthony Richard and Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored for Montreal.

LIGHTNING 4, DEVILS 3, SO >> Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist in regulation, and Alex Killorn and Ross Colton scored in the shootout to lift Tampa Bay past New Jersey.

Colton also scored in regulation. Andrei Vasilevski­y made 26 saves for Tampa Bay, which won its second in a row over New Jersey after a victory Tuesday night.

Timo Meier had two goals in the third period and Tomas Tatar also scored for New Jersey. Akira Schmid made 21 saves. RANGERS 4, PENGUINS 2 >> Chris Kreider scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and added an empty-netter, and Igor Shesterkin made 30 saves to help New York beat Pittsburgh.

Mika Zibanejad and Tyler Motte also scored for the Rangers. They won for the eighth time in their last 10 home games.

New York is 6-1-1 in its last eight home games against Pittsburgh, and the teams will square off again Saturday night at The Garden.

Jake Guentzel and Rickard Rakell scored for Pittsburgh.

AVALANCHE 5, SENATORS 4 >> Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists, Lars Eller scored a strange deciding goal and Colorado beat Ottawa for its fourth straight victory. Colorado defenseman Cale Makar had a goal and an assist, and Lars Eller, Valeri Nichushkin and Evan Rodrigues also scored. Nathan MacKinnon had three assists, and Jonas Johansson stopped 31 shots.

Drake Batherson, Shane Pinto, Travis Hamonic and Brady Tkachuk scored for Ottawa, Tim Stutzle had three assists and Mads Sogaard made 25 saves. The Senators have lost four in a row.

The Avalanche scored three times in the second period, with Eller’s odd goal making it 5-2 late in the period.

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