After scoring a hat trick on Thursday, Tage Thompson had three assists on Friday in a 3-1 Buffalo Sabers victory over the Florida Panthers.
Thompson fed Jeff Skinner twice as well as Alex Tuch.
He now has 78 points in 57 games this season, which puts him tied with Matthew Tkachuk for fourth in NHL scoring. Only Connor McDavid (109 points), Leon Draisaitl (87) and Nikita Kucherov (81) have been more prolific since the start of the season.
Veteran Craig Anderson was brilliant, tying a personal best with a 53 save performance. At 41 years and 279 days, he is the oldest goaltender in NHL history to stop 50 or more shots in a game.
For the Panthers, Anthony Duclair played his first game of the season after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered during the summer period. He picked up an assist on Carter Verhaeghe’s 31st goal.
The Sabers have won four of their last five games. This victory against the Panthers allows them to equal the Florida team with whom they find themselves in a heated five-team fight for second place in the standings of draft teams, the last giving access to the playoffs.
Nylander gives Leafs victory
William Nylander made the difference after just over a minute in overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Nylander took the puck from Frederick Gaudreau before heading to the face-off circle to fire a perfect shot that beat Filip Gustavsson. Sound 33e goal of the season snapped the Wild’s four-game winning streak. The Swede also picked up an assist on David Kampf’s goal.
Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves as the Maple Leafs (36-15-8) earned their fourth victory in their last five games.
Brandon Duhaime opened the scoring first to give the Wild the lead midway through the first period.
Playing their first game against a provisionally seeded opponent for the playoffs since Feb. 1 against Boston, the Leafs enjoyed a power play in the second period but failed to outwit Gustavsson, whose only other appearance against Toronto dates back to May 2021, in a 4-3 overtime win while with Ottawa.
The Leafs’ power-play, which ranks fifth in the NHL, got another chance with less than eight minutes left in the third, but the Minnesota goalie came through on a Nylander one-timer.
The Wild then got their first power play with less than four minutes remaining, but Samsonov and his Toronto teammates held on to force overtime.
Meanwhile, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said before the game that goaltender Matt Murray (ankle) is expected to join the team in practice on Saturday. The 28-year-old hasn’t played since being retired Jan. 17 after allowing four goals on eight shots in a 5-4 overtime win over Florida.
A tray for Jonathan Quick
The Los Angeles Kings scored three goals in 5:34 in 2e period and it was enough to defeat the New York Islanders.
Phillip Danault, Athur Kaliyev and Gabriel Vilardi scored to give the Kings a 33e victory this season.
Noah Dobson and Adam Pelech hit the target on the other side against Jonathan Quick who earned the win with his 16 saves.
Quick earned the 370e victory in the NHL which allows him to edge out Tom Barrasso at 19e rank in NHL history and 3e rank among the American guards. Ryan Miller (391 wins) and John Vanbiesbrouck (374 wins) occupy the first two places.
Ilya Sorokin stopped 25 pucks for the Islanders, who had won three of their last four outings.
A catastrophic start to the game sinks the Jets
The Colorado Avalanche scored four goals on their first five shots en route to a 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
The Avs extended their winning streak to four.
Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and JT Compher each had a goal and an assist. MacKinnon opened the scoring after just 19 seconds on the breakaway, good for his 20e goal of the campaign. It was the team’s fastest goal to start a game since he scored in 11 seconds on Oct. 13, 2018.
Bowen Byram and Matt Nieto also scored for the Colorado squad (32-19-5), which is 5-0-1 in its last six outings and 12-2-2 in its last 16.
Alexander Georgiev made 26 saves in the win, which is his fourth straight on the road.
The only success of the Jets (35-23-1) came from Mason Appleton to tie the score 1-1. The Canadian formation is experiencing a slump with only one victory in five games.