Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Tage Thompson explodes for five goals as Sabres slam Blue Jackets

Field Level Media
08 Dec 2022, 13:40 GMT+10

Red-hot Tage Thompson scored five goals in a six-point performance to power the visiting Buffalo Sabres to a 9-4 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

Thompson's five goals matched the Sabres' franchise record set by Dave Andreychuk in 1986 at Boston.

Thompson roared out of the gate, registering his third career hat trick in the opening 12 minutes.

The offensive-minded Sabres entered the game having scored at least four goals in five of six games.

They exploded for six goals in the first period, including a franchise-record four from Thompson, who matched an NHL record by becoming the fourth player ever with four goals in a period.

The superb performance gives Thompson eight goals and six assists in a five-game point streak.

Thompson, who recorded his second six-point game of the season, now has 21 goals and 40 points in 26 games. Jeff Skinner added four assists for Buffalo, three coming on Thompson goals.

Dylan Cozens and Rasmus Dahlen also scored in the first period as the Sabres overwhelmed a pair of Columbus goalies in the opening 15 minutes, scoring six goals on their first 12 shots.

Patrik Laine and Gustav Nyquist scored in a span of 75 seconds in the second period for Columbus before Buffalo scored the next three for a 9-2 lead after two periods. Laine and Nyquist also scored in the third period, finishing with two goals apiece.

The Sabres scored two goals on four shots before the Blue Jackets were able to muster a shot on Buffalo goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who made 20 saves on 24 shots.

Laine missed the net on a shot that deflected off the facemask of Luukkonen and led to a Buffalo rush. Alex Tuch fed Thompson for his first of the game and a 2-0 Sabres' lead.

Dahlen beat Joonas Korpisalo for a 3-0 lead at 7:28 of the first. Korpisalo, who made just two saves on five shots, was then pulled for Elvis Merzlikins.

Thompson beat Merzlikins over the left shoulder for Buffalo's fourth goal on four consecutive shots.

Merzlikins had no chance on Thompson's next shot, a 100 MPH one-timer on the power play from the left circle as Buffalo took a 5-0 lead on Thompson's third career hat trick.

Korpisalo re-entered the game to start the third period, replacing Merzlikins, who finished with 15 saves on 21 shots.

Following an eight-game losing streak, the Sabres are 4-2-1 over their last seven games. The Jackets fell to 1-5-1 in their last seven home games.

--Field Level Media

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