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Tage Thompson’s OT goal finishes hat trick, lifts Sabres past Caps

Jan 3, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (72) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the first period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tage Thompson completed a hat trick in overtime to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-4 win against the host Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Thompson, who also had an assist, fired the puck into the top corner on the short side from the bottom of the left circle at 3:00 of the extra frame.

Alex Tuch had a goal and two assists and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 28 saves for the Sabres, who have won seven of their past eight games.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice to give him 808 for his NHL career and Sonny Milano had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who lost for only the third time in their past 14 games (11-1-2). Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves.

Tuch gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 10:48 of the first period. Thompson bolted by Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov into the offensive zone to get to a pass from Jeff Skinner and stopped in the right circle before spinning around to send a backhand feed over to Tuch driving to the left of the net.

Milano tied it 1-1 at 12:07 on a breakaway, lifting a backhand over Luukkonen’s glove at 12:07.

Thompson scored on the power play to put the Sabres ahead 2-1 at 17:29, blasting a one-timer from the left circle.

He pushed it to 3-1 at 5:50 of the second period. Tuch fended off Orlov and forward Aliaksei Protas in the right circle to dish on his backhand to Thompson in the high slot.

Ovechkin narrowed it to 3-2 at 16:46. Evgeny Kuznetsov won a faceoff back to Ovechkin at the top of the right circle, and he beat Luukkonen with a quick shot glove side.

Nic Dowd pushed in a rebound of Milano’s shot at the right side of the net to tie it 3-3 just 55 seconds into the third period.

Ovechkin gave the Capitals their first lead of the night at 7:10 when Conor Sheary sent a quick pass from behind the net to the winger uncovered at the inner left hashmark.

Tyson Jost deflected Casey Mittelstadt’s shot on the doorstep to tie it 4-4 at 11:42.

Thompson brought his season total to 30 goals, second in the NHL. Ovechkin moved up to 28 on the season, third in the league.

–Field Level Media