Fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night could have been forgiven for thinking they were in a time warp -- after all, the scoreboard read "Philadelphia 5, Tampa Bay 4" after only one period.
The nine goals scored in the opening 20 minutes were the most in a first period in nearly 19 years.
On Dec. 17, 1991, the Montreal Canadiens
and Quebec Nordiques combined for nine goals (Montreal 6, Quebec 3) in the first period of what ended as an 8-3 Canadiens victory at Le Colisee.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second period, which ended 7-7. The 14 goals through two periods were the most in the first 40 minutes of a game since Jan. 17, 1986, when Hartford led Quebec 10-4 after the second period.
The combined total of 14 goals though two periods was also more than had been scored during any game in the first five weeks of the season. Before Thursday, there had been no more than 11 goals in any game.