Here are the highlights of the Lightning/Flyers game; they're about 40 minutes long. That's because the teams managed to combine for 15 goals, all but one of them coming in the first two periods.
Nine goals in the first period is the most since 1991. Fourteen through two is the most since 1986, when two teams who don't exist anymore did it. 8-7 Tampa Bay when it was all said and done. The line score reads like the Buccaneers and Eagles had a defensive showdown, and Raheem Morris got ballsy and went for two. Or perhaps like a rematch of the 2008 World Series, except the game was started by James Shields and Kyle Kendrick, and they got to the bullpens early.
Except this was hockey, and it was started by actual human goaltenders whose job it is to keep the puck from going in the net. Dan Ellis, who's been wholly mediocre this year, managed to stop a whopping 6 of the first 10 shots he faced. He'd get pulled with 4+ minutes left in the first. Rookie sensation Sergei Bobrovsky was precisely one shot better: he made 7 saves on 11 attempts. He'd get yanked at the first intermission.
So, shitty night for goaltenders. But awesome night for goalscorers, and for those fans who complain there's not enough scoring in hockey (although I can't imagine those people were watching a TB/Philly showdown in mid-November on the off chance that they'd score 15 goals). Twelve different players scored and 28 tallied points, in a game that shockingly never saw more than a two-goal lead.
Steven Stamkos is back on pace for 82 goals after his hat trick. He's got five more goals and six more points than anyone else in the league, so he probably likes the high-scoring games. "It's like it was back in the '80s," he said, even though he was born in 19-goddamn-we're-old-90. "The goals were coming left and right. It was a flashback.''
It was a game from a different era, and not a well-played game in this era. No goaltending, no defense, no way to win a game these days. So while it was easily the most entertaining matchup we've seen all season, neither team is going to win too many games they give up seven goals. So let's just call it an aberration, or for the tinfoil hatters among us, an excellent way to draw attention from the fact that Bettman isn't going to do a damn thing about Colin Campbell.