Thompson's 5-goal game puts him in rarefied air
Thompson buried four goals before the first intermission, helping the Sabres jump out to a 6-0 lead. He added his fifth of the night in the second period.
The 25-year-old tied a Sabres single-game record with his handful of tallies, matching the feat Dave Andreychuk accomplished in 1986. Thompson also set a new team mark for points in a period with the four he collected in the opening frame.
Thompson's five goals were the second-most ever in a road game, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. Gordon "Red" Berenson collected six in Philadelphia while playing for the St. Louis Blues in 1968.
The Sabres forward's early-game explosion also put him in rarefied air. Thompson's outburst - which took only 16:40 - was the second-fastest four-goal effort to begin a game in league history. Only Joe Malone bested that mark, doing so in 8:45 with the Hamilton Tigers in 1921.
Thompson's four first-period markers also tied an NHL record for goals in a single frame, and he became the fourth player ever to do so in the opening period.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound center downplayed his historic performance after the game.
"You can’t be satisfied," Thompson said, according to the Buffalo News' Lance Lysowski. "Obviously, it’s a great achievement. You want to be happy for yourself. But at the same time, there’s more to do. We’re not where we want to be as a team, and it’s my job to help us get there."
Sabres head coach Don Granato wasn't as critical as his breakout superstar.
"That was an amazing performance by Tage," Granato said, according to WGR 550's Brian Koziol. "To have a history with Tage like I do, to see him as a teenager, to see his growth and development, it's really special to see his success and rewards like this ... a really special night."
On the flip side, Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine was miffed with his club's effort.
"We sucked pretty much the whole game," he said, according to team reporter Jeff Svoboda. "It’s just embarrassing how we played tonight. That’s all I have to say."
Thompson has amassed 21 goals and 19 assists in 26 contests this season, ranking among the league leaders in those two offensive categories and points. He achieved Wednesday night's remarkable exploits in only 13:56 of ice time.
The Phoenix-born pivot signed a seven-year, $50-million extension in August after racking up 38 goals and 30 assists through 78 games last campaign.
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