Sabres @ Capitals: 1/3/23 – Game Reactions/Recap

Tonight the Sabres were able to get a 4-3 overtime win in Washington, capped off with a Tage Thompson hat trick in a game that the City of Buffalo really needed after last night.

The Sabres got on the board first tonight. On a great play by Tage Thompson flying into the zone, he made a spin-o-Rama pass to Alex Tuch, who tipped the puck past Darcy Kuemper for the first goal of the game, 10:48 into the first period after Kuemper had overcommitted on the play. The Capitals tied it up quickly, just 1:19 later as Sonny Milano got past Rasmus Dahlin and wheeled up the ice, putting it top shelf past UPL to make it 1-1. The Sabres got the lead back though on the power play as Dahlin set up Tage Thompson who absolutely ripped a shot from the Ovi Office, to make it 2-1 Buffalo with 2:31 left in the first. Fun first period that got chippy towards the end of the period. We outshot the Caps 11-8, limiting Washington to just 12 shot attempts and outplayed them by an expected goal rate of 1.16-0.51. 

In the second period, 6:50 into the period, Tage got his second goal of the game on a play where Alex Tuch did a great job handling the puck before passing it over to Thompson. Right off the draw late in the period, Ovechkin ripped it right off the draw to make it 3-2 Caps with just 3:14 left in the second. The Caps outplayed us in the second but with some huge saves from Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to keep us in the lead.

Very quick into the third, Nic Dowd tapped the puck into the net just 55 second into the period to tie it up for the Caps on a complete defensive breakdown for the Sabres, making it 3-3 and hitting the over. Off another faceoff, Ovi got his second of the game moving to open ice right in front, getting the quick pass for Conor Sheary and giving the Caps their first lead of the game. Horrific defense by the Sabres with both defenseman going behind the net to get Sheary and leaving the best natural goal scorer wide open in the slot. The Sabres worked hard in front of the net and got rewarded with 8:18 left in the period as Tyson Jost tied the game up at 4, chasing the rebound on a Casey Mittelstadt shot and putting it past Kuemper. 

We went to overtime with the Sabres on a power play but the Caps were able to kill it off. Tage Thompson completed the hat trick with a beauty off an unbelievable play by Alex Tuch down low to set it up, giving the Sabres the win exactly three minutes into overtime!

Final: Sabres 5, Capitals 4 (OT)

Great game for the boys, even though we didn’t play all that great at some points of this game, getting outplayed by an expected goal rate of 3.58-2.54. Very entertaining game and it was good for the Sabres to get the win, led by none other than Tommer, who got his third hatty of the season. Big win for the city of Buffalo, who needed this one big time after last night’s events.

Go Sabres!

The thoughts of the entire city of Buffalo and the sports world are with Damar Hamlin.

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