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That Really Happened: Thompson Scores Five, Sabres Win 9-4

Score: Sabres 9 | Blue Jackets 4

Shots: BUF 30 | CBJ 24

Buffalo Sabres Goals: Dylan Cozens (10), Tage Thompson (17, 18, 19, 20, 21), Rasmus Dahlin (9), Peyton Krebs (1), Alex Tuch (13)

Columbus Blue Jackets Goals: Patrik Laine (5, 6), Gustav Nyquist (, 65)

Plus-1: First Period Strength

Honestly… after sleeping on it, it’s really hard to find the right words to describe Wednesday night’s Sabres game. It was just an unreal performance, including possibly the best period in franchise history in the opening frame. Per Jonah Bronstein, the Sabres’ six-goal output matched the franchise record, set in October 1992 and last executed in December 2006.

From the start, the Sabres took advantage of a depleted Blue Jackets team. The Sabres’ first power play came just 2:28 in, and Dylan Cozens wasted no time getting Buffalo on the board. Barely three minutes later, Thompson scored his first of six on the night. Then, Dahlin and Thompson scored twice in a span of 22 seconds. It was a rapid-fire sequence of goals, and set the Sabres up for the rest of the game.

Once Thompson had scored his second, it seemed inevitable that he would complete the hat trick – it was just a matter of time. Less than five minutes later, on the advantage, he did just that. To add insult to injury, he added another power play goal with 3:20 to play in the period. The only thing better than a first period hat trick? Four goals in the first period. Go off, Tommer.

Plus-2: A Mostly Full Sixty Minutes

There were maybe a few moments in the second period where it seemed like the Blue Jackets might genuinely be able to stage a comeback, but it didn’t last long. Laine and Nyquist scored within 1:15 of one another, and all of a sudden, that six-goal deficit was trimmed to four, with over a period left of hockey.

Thankfully for the Sabres, any hopes of a Blue Jackets rally were quickly squashed. The four-goal deficit lasted only two minutes, as Thomson scored his fifth of the night. Krebs and Tuch then added goals in quick succession to put the Sabres up 9-2 at the end of the second period.

With that offensive output, the Sabres now lead the NHL in goals-for, and have scored five or more goals in six of their last eight games. Tage Thompson is third in the NHL in goals, behind only Jason Robertson and Connor McDavid. Plenty of players set career highs, including Skinner (4 assists) and Tuch (4 points).

Final Thoughts

What more can you say? The only part of Wednesday evening that wasn’t fun was that Spectrum had major issues with TNT for the entire first period, meaning many Sabres fans completely missed out on that. The Blue Jackets goals weren’t great, and maybe we could’ve hoped for an additional save or two from Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

But all things considered, the Sabres took care of business, did what needed to be done, and then some. Now, it’s time to focus on a home-and-home with the Penguins this weekend.