Sabres' Tage Thompson scores 5 goals in win over Blue Jackets
Buffalo centre tallied 4 goals in the 1st period
Tage Thompson matched an NHL record by scoring four times in the first period and finished with five goals and an assist as the Buffalo Sabres won their third straight road game, 9-4 over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.
Thompson is the second U.S.-born player to score five goals in a game. He is the fourth player in NHL history to record four goals in the first period of a regular-season game, joining Peter Bondra (1994), Grant Mulvey (1982) and Joe Malone (1921). He is also the fourth active player to score five goals in a game, joining Timo Meier (Jan. 17, 2022), Mika Zibanejad (March 5, 2020) and Patrik Laine (Nov. 24, 2018).
"It's definitely a rewarding feeling," Thompson said. "You've spent a lot of years working to get to this point and to be rewarded for it is a pretty good feeling and it just leaves you hungrier."
Thompson's outburst helped Buffalo score six times in the first 16:40.
"That was an amazing performance by Tage, and really, the whole group set the table," Sabres coach Don Granato said. "I thought the energy, the collective effort, the focus to start was really good and enabled that to happen."
Tage Thompson has more goals tonight than 73% of players in the league have goals this season.—@MikeKellyNHL
Alex Tuch had a goal and three assists, Dylan Cozens added a power-play goal and two assists and Rasmus Dahlin finished with a goal and two assists. Peyton Krebs also scored. Jeff Skinner picked up four assists and Jacob Bryson had two. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 20 shots.
Patrik Laine and Gustav Nyquist each scored twice for Columbus.
Joonas Korpisalo stopped two shots before being pulled in the first in favour of Elvis Merzlikins, who stopped 15 shots through the second period. Korpisalo returned in the third and finished with six saves.
Columbus has lost six straight home games and five of its last six overall.
"We didn't have an answer for that one line," Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. "Tage Thompson just tore us up tonight."
Cozens put the Sabres on the board at 3:21 of the first, 53 seconds into a Blue Jackets penalty, and Thompson made it 2-0 just 2:09 later. Dahlin scored Buffalo's third goal at 7:28 of the first, driving Korpisalo from the net in favour of Merzlikins, who gave up Buffalo goal No. 4 to Thompson 32 seconds later.
Thompson's third career hat trick and second of the season came on a power-play goal at 12:22 of the first. He followed with his fourth goal, also on the power play, at 16:40.
WATCH | All 5 goals Thompson scored in 9-4 win over Blue Jackets:
Columbus scored two goals in just over a minute, with Laine at 10:49 and Nyquist at 12:04, before Buffalo reeled off three straight in just over three minutes to end the period, including Thompson's fifth, and goals by Krebs and Tuch.
Laine and Nyquist scored in the third period for Columbus.
Cozens has 12 points in his last five games and is riding a career-best, five-game point streak. Thompson has eight goals and five assists in his last five games and 10 multi-point games. Dahlin has a five-game point and assist streak, and Gaudreau stretched his points streak to six games.