by Mike Whitaker
DETROIT – Talk about having yourself a career night!
Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha scored all four of Detroit’s goals
against the Dallas Stars during Sunday night’s home opener at Little Caesars Arena to propel them to a 2-0 start on the new campaign.
It was the second time in his career that he had scored three goals, and his
fourth and game-winning tally came with just under a minute left in regulation, sending the sellout crowd into a frenzy. Mantha now has five goals in two games and 13 in his past ten games dating back to last season.
“Obviously 30 goals is the key,” Mantha said when asked about what his target performance would be. “I didn’t reach it last year but if it’s starting like this then let’s hope for more.”
Dylan Larkin added two assists, while goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 19 saves including a game-saving stop at the goal line with just moments remaining in regulation to preserve the win.
Roope Hintz (two goals) and Tyler Seguin scored for the Stars, who took an
early 2-0 lead in the first period. Hintz’s second goal of the game came shortly after Mantha tallied his third. Goaltender Anthon Khudobin made 29 saves in the loss.
Head coach Jeff Blashill recognizes the special player that Mantha has the
potential to become, but also pointed to the attributes that he must continue to display in order to keep up his recent hot streak of play.
“He’s a good person that cares and he wants to be a really good player,” Blashill said afterwards. “When he’s confident, he’s exponentially better; when he skates he can be a dominant player.”
The Red Wings will host the Anaheim Ducks at Little Caesars Arena on
Tuesday night. After two consecutive wins against top Western Conference opponents, the team will be brimming with confidence.
“Confidence in this league is a huge thing,” Blashill noted. “We got to make sure we come Tuesday ready to play our very best hockey.”