November 19 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Suppose they played a hockey game and no one played defense.
That’s what happened Thursday night. Resembling pickup teams on a neighborhood pond, the Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning lit up the scoreboard in a record-setting pace in the first two periods.
Purists hated it. Fans at the Wells Fargo Center roared. That is, when they weren’t groaning because of a Tampa Bay goal.
Tampa Bay 8, Flyers 7.
It equaled the most goals ever scored by the Flyers in a loss. They dropped a 9-7 decision to Hartford on Feb. 25, 1984.
Steven Stamkos scored a hat trick, and Martin St. Louis contributed five assists to spark Tampa, which notched the final three goals to erase a 7-5 deficit.
The teams nearly set a Flyers record for combined goals in a game. The record: 17, done three times, most recently on Feb. 23, 1988, when the Flyers walloped Detroit, 11-6.
The Flyers blew leads of 2-0, 5-3, and 7-5.
“We weren’t very good in front of our goaltender,” coach Peter Laviolette understated. “There were point-blank chances against guys that can score goals. We need to be tighter” defensively.
“We had breakdowns. We should have forced play and we seemed to back off,” center Danny Briere said. “Our decision-making wasn’t sharp, especially in our own zone.”
You knew Thursday wasn’t going to be a typical night when the teams combined for nine goals on 24 shots – in the first period.
The Flyers, who were shut out in Montreal on Tuesday, held a 5-4 lead after 20 minutes. That equaled a Flyers record for combined goals in any period.
“It was crazy,” said winger Andreas Nodl, who opened the scoring with his fourth goal. “Every time I looked up, somebody scored.”
Backup goalie Brian Boucher (remember him?) relieved Sergei Bobrovsky at the start of the second period and allowed a goal on the first shot he faced.
It was that kind of night for the goalies. And the defenses.
“Of course it’s very tough when you’re pulled out of the game, but this is life, this is the game, and it will happen again,” the good-natured Bobrovsky said through a translator after his 12th straight start.”
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