Skip to Main Content

Lightning outscore Flyers 8-7

by Dan Rosen
PHILADELPHIA -- Steven Stamkos said Tampa Bay's wild win at Wells Fargo Center reminded him of what hockey looked like in the 1980s.

One problem: He was born in 1990.

But the Tampa Bay youngster had a hat trick and added 2 assists Thursday for his first five-point night in the NHL so we'll give him a break. Besides, Stamkos had a point.

Tampa Bay and Philadelphia combined for nine goals in the first period and five more in the second, but it was checker Nate Thompson's goal off a rebound 5:19 into the third period that held up as the difference in Lightning's wacky 8-7 victory. It was Tampa Bay's second win in as many nights and the Flyers' second straight loss.

NHL Network-U.S. will re-broadcast the classic at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 20.

The nine goals in the first period tied a Flyers' franchise record for most goals in a period and were the most goals scored in the first period of an NHL game since Montreal and Quebec combined for nine on Dec. 17, 1991.

The 14 goals through two periods were the most in the NHL since Jan. 17, 1986, when Hartford led the Nordiques 10-4. Tampa Bay's eight goals tied the franchise's record for most goals in a road game.

And, of course, the 15 goals scored are the most in a game this season -- in fact, they're the most in a game since Calgary beat the Lightning 9-6 on Dec. 13, 2007.

"I've never been part of anything like this even going back to minor hockey," said Stamkos, who now leads the NHL with 19 goals and 35 points through 19 games. "It was like we were back in the 80s, everyone was rocking the moustaches on the ice, the goals were coming left, right and center. It was a flashback, but it was an exciting game to be a part of. I guess for the goalies it was tough, but everything just seemed to find the net."

Thompson scored off a rebound of Dana Tyrell's shot from the slot. Flyers goalie Brian Boucher, who replaced starter Sergei Bobrovsky to start the second period, made the initial toe save but couldn't recover in time to stop Thompson at the doorstep. Thompson lifted the puck high over Boucher's catching glove for his only point of the night.

"It was an exciting game for the fans, probably headaches for both coaches, but it was 0-0 going into the third period and all we needed was one more," Thompson said. "We did it and it shows a lot of character about our team."

The Lightning came back from deficits of 2-0, 3-2, 5-3 and 7-5 to get the win. Stamkos completed his hat trick with the game-tying goal 18:59 into the second period. It was his 10th power-play goal of the season.

That also leads the NHL.

"Once we came back from the first two goals, you could see everyone had life on the bench," Stamkos said. "Maybe we were down after the first two, but we said on the bench if we get the next one we're right back in the game, and we did. We came back from three two-goal deficits. That's just the character we have on this team."

Fourteen Tampa Bay players had at least one point with Stamkos and Martin St. Louis leading the way with 5 each. All of St. Louis' points came on assists -- and he was in on all of Stamkos' goals.

Even Tampa Bay starting goalie Dan Ellis chipped in with an assist. But he made only six saves and was pulled 15:34 into the first period after allowing four goals on 10 shots. Mike Smith gave up three goals on 22 shots to pick up the win in relief.

"I'm sure everybody liked the goals, but it's important that we learn from it," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

Fifteen Flyers registered at least a point, with Nikolai Zherdev's 3-point night leading the way. Zherdev had 2 goals and an assist. Sean O'Donnell, Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell and Matt Carle each had 2 points.

Bobrovsky was starting his 12th straight game, but he lasted only 4:26 longer than Ellis. He was pulled for the first time this season after yielding four goals on 11 shots. Boucher (18 saves) took the loss in relief.

"It's probably the weirdest game I've played in my career," the goaltender said. "I don't know if we should harp on it or just chalk it up to one of those things where it's just a crazy night."

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette plans to harp on it.

"I think you need to look at it. You need to look at the game," he said. "You can always pull things and use them to teach and get better, and we'll do that (Friday). Eight goals against isn't typical of this team and the way we've played defense all year."

Considering what happened in the first 40 minutes, it was amazing that Thompson's goal stood as the winner.

The Flyers had a 2-0 lead just 5:03 into the game, but not four minutes had passed before it was even. After Jeff Carter and Ryan Malone traded goals, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere scored back-to-back goals to give the Flyers a 5-3 lead with 1:56 to play in the first period.

Brett Clark made it 5-4 only 14 seconds later when his shot literally ripped through the net after sailing past Bobrovsky's catching glove. The play went under review, but replays clearly showed the puck going over the goal line and through the mesh.

"He put some farmer strength behind that one," Thompson cracked.

Stamkos and Zherdev traded goals within the first five minutes of the second period and Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros and Lightning forward Steve Downie scored within 14 seconds just prior to the halfway point in the game. Stamkos got his hat trick with 1:01 to play in the second period to send each team into the third with a touchdown and the extra point.

Tempers flared late in the third period when Meszaros went low to clip Tyrell. He was issued four minutes in penalties, two for clipping and two for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Flyers were shorthanded for the next 2:14, but Pavel Kubina was called for interference on Kimmo Timonen with 1:09 remaining to make it 4-on-4.

Laviolette pulled Boucher to give his team a 5-on-4 advantage, but Smith held his ground, especially on a wrap-around attempt Briere with only 12 seconds left. Smith covered up, Thompson won a faceoff from Claude Giroux and the Lightning killed off the remaining time to win the wild game.

"A hero is the guy that lasts just a little longer than the other one, and we did," Guy Boucher said. "To say we were happy with the way the game was played, that's probably the weirdest game I've ever been involved in at any level."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.