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Thompson Scores Four as Sabres Defeat Devils 5-2



New Jersey Devils Buffalo Sabres game recap

The Buffalo Sabres found themselves down two early to the New Jersey Devils but managed to flip the script from Wednesday and rally back to win 5-2. Tage Thompson recorded a natural hat trick to give the Sabres the lead and then capped it off with an empty net goal for his fourth of the night.

Must Read: ‘Disappointing’ First Period Leads to 6-2 Sabres Loss to Senators

It looked to be doom and gloom again at home for Buffalo, as Sabres draft pick Max Willman and Jesper Bratt got the Devils off to a quick start in the first period. With New Jersey getting the bulk of the quality scoring chances, Sabres goalie Devon Levi was able to keep his team within striking distance.

That strike came in the second period as goals from Thompson in the first shift and near the end of the frame tied the game. He then netted his third goal 4:34 into the third period, springing Buffalo in the lead for the first time all game.

Empty netters by JJ Peterka and Thompson sealed the victory for the Sabres at home.

Impact Players

There’s an obvious choice for the player with the biggest impact in Friday’s game – Tage Thompson. His four goals made him the fourth player in Sabres history to record multiple games of at least four goals. He joins an elite list with Dave Andreychuk, Rick Martin, and Alexander Mogilny.

Thompson’s picked it up offensively lately, with 14 points in his last 10 games. He appears much healthier, and, if his shot is any indication, he’s back to last season’s form.

Honorable mentions go to Alex Tuch, Owen Power, Rasmus Dahlin, and Devon Levi, but Thompson’s the clear frontrunner.

The Difference

When head coach Don Granato was asked about this game compared to the last, he referenced perseverance, less frustration, and a different energy from the bench. With more upbeat chatter, the team was better suited to shake off the early deficit.

That energy was apparent in the penalty kill. Although the Sabres went without a powerplay opportunity in the game, their decisiveness shorthanded pushed the team in a positive direction. One of those penalty kills included 26 seconds of five-on-three play, where Devon Levi didn’t even have to make a save.

What’s Next

The Sabres are back at it tomorrow, hosting the archrival Toronto Maple Leafs. Saturday night games at KeyBank Center against the neighbors up north are always fun, with a packed house and tons of energy from the fans. The Leafs are playing middling hockey lately, so the Sabres will look to take advantage.