Tage Thompson’s first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday looked like something out of NHL 23, and it sure seemed like the Buffalo Sabres sniper was playing on Rookie difficulty.
A four-goal, five-point eruption — culminating with a pair of blistering power-play one-timers that would make prime Alex Ovechkin proud — had the hockey world buzzing during the most dominant period by any individual this season.
Thompson may have unlocked his scoring prowess last year with a 38-goal breakout, but the Sabres pivot has taken his game to new heights this season. The outburst rockets him to 20 goals, tying him with Bo Horvat for third in the NHL, while his five points shoot him up to fourth place league-wide with 39.
The special period was quite literally one for the history books, as the NHL’s public relations shared just how rare it was.
As one might imagine, Hockey Twitter went wild over one of the most jaw-dropping periods of hockey ever seen, as the Sabres exited the ice in Columbus ahead 6-0 after 20 minutes, routing the Metropolitan Division’s basement dwellers.
Thompson wasn't done filling the net, as he tacked on a fifth tally for good measure in Buffalo's 9-4 blowout victory. He joined Dave Andreychuk as the only Sabres to ever score five goals in one game.
Despite Thompson’s outstanding season to date, the Sabres have struggled to keep themselves in the fight in a loaded Atlantic Division, which is heartbreaking for fans dreaming of how his exceptional power forward game would translate to the playoffs.
Before Wednesday's contest, the Sabres sat seventh in the Atlantic, just two points up on the last-place Ottawa Senators, with a middling 11-13-1 record.
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