Thompson scores a hat trick, six points in Sabers win over Red Wings

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BUFFALO — Tagus Thompson had a hat trick and three assists, and the Buffalo Sabers beat the Detroit Red Wings 8-3 at KeyBank Center on Monday.

“I think obviously winning is always a good feeling, especially 8-3,” Thompson said. “I think we played a very good game throughout, but obviously it’s a nice feeling when you score, you contribute to the scoresheet. It’s nice.”

Video: DET@BUF: Thompson records a hat trick and 3 assists

Jeff Skinner had a goal and two assists, Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and an assist, and Kyle Okposo had two assists for the Sabers (6-3-0), who have won five of their last seven games. Eric Comrie made 15 saves for his first victory in three starts.

Olli Maatta, David Peron and Dylan Larkins scored for the Red Wings (4-3-2), who have lost three of their four games. Alex Nedeljkovic made 38 saves.

“We didn’t show up and they showed up,” Larkin said. “No matter what level of hockey you play, you don’t show up, it will be embarrassing. We have to find it; ‘it’ means the pride of. You get in the games, a one-goal game there in the third [period], two goal game, like, let’s go, let’s win battles, make it even game. We just lost way too many battles tonight.”

Thompson gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 16:52 of the first period on just one cross pass from Skinner in the left faceoff circle.

Maatta tied the game 1-1 at 1:26 of the second period when Andrew Copp sent a backhand pass behind the net to the defender at the top of the left circle.

Jack Quinn put the Sabers ahead 2-1 at 5:22 with a one-timer from the right circle for his first goal of the season.

Skinner made it 3-1 at 14:26 when Thompson found him alone in front for his 300th NHL goal.

“It’s good, I guess,” Skinner said of the milestone. “That means I’ve been there for a while I guess. But I think for me you’re not going to score goals unless you have five guys on the same page there. Obviously that means you’ve had some good chemistry with the guys over the years. I’ve probably had a few open nets, some good passes from some teammates, probably.

Video: DET@BUF: Skinner buries a blow alone for the 300th

Thompson made it 4-1 at 18:30, scoring from the slot on the power play. He had nine shots on goal on Monday and has 25 in the last three games

“I think the confidence has been there since the start of the season. I think maybe the first three games I didn’t have enough shots, maybe I was a little too cute,” Thompson said. “I just tried to simplify and get the pucks to the net, whether it’s a clear path to the net or not. You just have to find ways to get it to the net and then from from there if he doesn’t go in, at least it creates a bounce and we take possession of it.”

Perron made it 4-2 with 57 seconds left in the period, and Larkin made it 4-3 at 4:19 of the third when his pass attempt ricocheted off the Buffalo defender. Owen Powerskates towards him at the bottom of the right circle for the shorthanded goal.

Dahlin restored the two-goal lead to 5-3 at 12:53 on a power play.

“They get a [power play] there, kills the momentum,” Larkin said. “The pucks in our net and then the embarrassment started.

Dylan Cozens scored the short end of the right circle to make it 6-3 at 2:47.

Video: DET@BUF: Cozens fires a spectacular shot into the net

Thompson completed the hat trick at 15:58 with a swing in the slot to make it 7-3.

“It’s nice to watch ‘Tommer’, to have the history with him, to watch him when he was 16, to see him work his way up to this point in his career,” said the Sabers coach Don Granato.

“What stands out is the excitement from the bench and the players around him. It really tells you who he is. … Seeing that and seeing a kid who took so long to blossom and be recognized for the talent that he is, to see him fight and now start getting rewards for that work, it’s really nice.”

Thompson, who counted each of the last three goals (two goals, one assist) in a 4-3 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, became the second player in Sabers history to score a point on eight consecutive goals since Pat LaFontaine in 1992-93.

“I didn’t know that stat, but it’s pretty cool,” Thompson said. “Obviously he’s one of the best at playing the game, so to be mentioned in the same breath is a pretty cool feeling.”

Rasmus Asplund scored with 39 seconds left for the 8-3 final.

“We suspended our goalkeeper tonight, which means [stinks]”Copp said. “They’re 5-3, OK, 6-3, but you can’t let that go. Simply unacceptable.”

REMARKS: Thompson became the sixth player in Sabers history with six points in one game, and the first since LaFontaine on Feb. 10, 1993 (one goal, five assists). His hat trick is the 22nd in NHL history on Halloween and the first since Michael Frolik of the Calgary Flames in 2015. … Okposo had multiple points in consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 9-18, 2018 (three games). … Larkin scored his first shorthanded goal since Oct. 30, 2018.

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