Thompson Haunts Redwings on Halloween
BUFFALO, N.Y. --- The Buffalo Sabres hosted The Detroit Redwings on Monday night in KeyBank Center on Halloween night. A pregame full of spooky fun, the game played out that way for Buffalo's fans as well. featuring major"jump scares" to end the second and start the third. Tage Thompson could do whatever he wanted on the ice against Detroit, notching a hat trick as well as three assists. He tied a record held by only Pat La'Fontaine, having a contribution on 8 consecutive points by Buffalo. Line mate Jeff Skinner notched three points on the day between a goal and two assists. Eric Comrie started between the sticks for The Sabres, notching 15 saves as The Buffalo defense only allowed 18 shots all game from Detroit.
The first period was a defensive battle, despite major injuries to the defensive room in Buffalo, they were able to hold The Redwings to only 6 shots on goal in the period. Despite putting up 14 shots, the offense still appeared slowed down. Buffalo took their sweet time earning the lead, with just over three minutes left in the period a single substitution of Peyton Krebs for Tage Thompson occurred, Thompson slowly skated onto the ice and, without a redwings defender noticing, was able to set himself up perfectly to strike Jeff Skinners beautiful cross, into the back of the net. after the goal the physicality kicked up another notch and both teams took a penalty within the closing minutes.
The second period proved to be significantly more entertaining for the fans than its prior counterpart. The Sabres totaled 18 shots in the period while holding Detroit to only 9. As the period opened, a bit of bad puck luck seemed to follow the sabres around the ice, being immediately notices by a game tying goal for The Redwings just a minute and a half into the period. The fall of the puck never truly looked like it was on the Sabres side in the second, that didn't stop Buffalo from scoring though.
They opened their second period scoring with a man that everyone was waiting for and he finally came through, Jack Quinn hit the one timer, looking eerily similar to Michael Mersch as he dropped to one knee, and reestablished the lead for The Sabres. That goal was followed up by another big mark from Buffalo but it wasn't one of the young guys. Jeff Skinner scored his 300th career NHL goal following a great display from line mates Kyle Okposo and Tage Thompson to win the puck back, Skinner just had to stand in front of the goal.
Before the period could end, Tage Thompson decided that an assist wasn't enough for the period on his stat sheet. with 1:30 on the clock Thompson dominated his way into the offensive third and flicked the puck around the last defender for a point blank shot on Alex Nedeljkovic, who didn't have a chance. That wasn't the end of it though, 35 seconds later The Redwings were chomping at the bit for a big shot on Eric Comrie, they finally got it in similar fashion to Skinner's goal, that one scored by David Perron.
The Redwings rolled their last minute momentum into the third and, while shorthanded, found the back of the net by way of a fast break from Dylan Larkin. With the lead cut to one, the sabres energy started to change. It first came on a power play that spanned almost three minutes for Buffalo, cut short by Rasmus Dahlin getting his name back in the scoring column. It looked like it was supposed to be a pass, until it deflected off the inside of the goalie's leg pad and hit the back of the net.
After Dahlin's goal, Buffalo looked like they could score at will. Dylan Cozens was first, just two minutes after Dahlin. A break away down the right side of the ice, Cozen's never cut inside, kept the puck on his right and hit the outside shot. Not even a minute and a half after that, Tage Thompson finished his hat trick, halloween costume hats flooded the ice instantly and the energy of Buffalo was high. As the crowd chanted "We want eight" Rasmus Asplund delivered another one for The Sabres, slotting it home with 39 seconds left in the game.
The Sabres now move to 6-3 and advance to second in The Atlantic Division. Their next game will be Wednesday November 2nd against The Pittsburgh Penguins, puck drop at 7:30 p.m.