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Trending: Red Wings trounce Bruins, 6-3

Mantha bags his first career hat trick; Hirose notches his first NHL goal

by Arthur J. Regner and Dana Wakiji @ArthurJRegner and @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- For the last few weeks, the Detroit Red Wings have given their fans a glimpse of what the team's future could hold.

For the seventh time in their last eight games, the Wings skated to victory, beating the talent-laden Boston Bruins, 6-3, before a delirious Sunday night crowd at Little Caesars Arena.

It was also the Wings' season-best fifth straight victory, their longest since stringing six consecutive victories together from Oct. 17-27, 2016.

Boston, which was 15-2-2 versus Detroit in its last 19 games, trailed 2-0 after one period but scored three goals in the second period to lead 3-2 after two.

But Detroit was determined not to let Boston's hex take over the game and scored four third-period goals to seal their third victory of the season over the Bruins.

Anthony Mantha led the Red Wings' offense with a five-point night, including netting his first career hat trick.

Mantha (three goals, two on the power play), Taro Hirose (first career NHL goal), Filip Hronek and Dylan Larkin (empty net) were the Wings' goal scorers.

Jake DeBrusk, Brad Marchand (shorthanded) and David Backes lit the lamp for the Bruins.

Jimmy Howard (22-20-5), picked up the win, making 31 saves, including all 17 shots the Bruins launched in the third period. His save percentage for the game was .912.

Jaroslav Halak (21-11-4) took the loss in net for Boston, stopping 22 of 27 shots for an .815 save percentage.

With the victory, the Red Wings improved to 31-38-10, while the Bruins dropped to 47-23-9.

Up next for the Wings is a date against the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Boston's next action is also on Tuesday when they play in Columbus against a Blue Jackets team fighting for its playoff life.              

1. Anthony Mantha: Had Mantha not missed 15 games with a hand injury, the Wings might be talking about three players with 30 goals instead of just two with Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou. Mantha has talked recently about finishing the season strong and has been playing some of his best hockey of late. At 10:26 of the first, Larkin found Mantha open in the right circle and Mantha quickly beat Halak for a 1-0 Detroit lead. The goal was Mantha's 20th of the season, but he was not even close to being done. With the Wings on a power play at the end of the first, Mantha was in the right circle and fired the puck over Halak's glove with one second left in the period. Niklas Kronwall, skating in his 950th career game, and Tyler Bertuzzi assisted. Still not done, Mantha completed his hat trick at 1:17 of the third period with the Wings once again on the power play. Bertuzzi and Athanasiou assisted on Mantha's third goal. Mantha also had two assists, giving him a career-best five-point night. He is the first Wings player to record five points in a game since Henrik Zetterberg had three goals and two assists on Feb. 1, 2013 against the St. Louis Blues. Mantha also extended his point streak to five games. He has five goals and seven assists in that span. The forward finished with 22 shifts for 19:06, had a game-high eight shots, one giveaway, two takeaways and was plus-3.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Anthony Mantha has his 20th. #LGRW @DTE_Energy | #BOSvsDET

Quotable: "Fun. Real fun. I think lately as a team and our line especially, we're just trying to enjoy these last couple of days and weeks and it's paying off on the ice. Feels good. Me, Bert (Bertuzzi) and Double-A (Athanasiou) kind of had a friendly competition going. We know Bert had his first hat trick earlier this season. I'm just happy I didn't lose this competition." -- Mantha

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Thats 2. 🚀🚀 #LGRW

Quotable II: "I told him right before, I was going to look for him. There's not many times when you get the opportunity to get a hat trick, so you have to make the most of it. I was lucky enough to beat both of them (to get a hat trick). I was happy for Mo tonight and to (get) an assist on his third was special for me." -- Bertuzzi

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: HATS OFF! 🧢🎩🧢🎩🧢🎩 #LGRW

Quotable III: "I think he's been playing really good here the last little bit. I think that line obviously has been excellent since we put them back together. They have good chemistry together. Generally when they've played together, they've been really good so I think it's great. We didn't have a very good power play, the first one, but I thought Anthony's back check on it early just showed he was skating. When he skates, he's a really good player." -- Wings coach Jeff Blashill

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: First hatty in the books. ��� #LGRW

2. Taro Hirose: What's been most impressive about Hirose since he joined the Wings right out of Michigan State is how easy he has made the transition look from college hockey to the NHL. Hirose started his Detroit career with a five-game assist streak, which ended in Friday's 4-0 home shutout of the New Jersey Devils. Just eight seconds after Mantha completed his first career hat trick, Athanasiou found Hirose going to the net and delivered the puck from behind the net. Hirose did not miss, scoring his first NHL goal on the same night that his Spartans reached the NCAA Final Four in men's basketball. The reaction on the bench was priceless as Hirose's teammates celebrated his achievement. Kronwall got the second assist on Hirose's goal. That gives Hirose points in six of his first seven games. Hirose finished with 24 shifts for 18:17, was second to Mantha with four shots, had two blocked shots and was even.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: The big night for Sparty rolls on as @Tarzy17 picks up his first career goal! #LGRW

Quotable: "It was surreal just to get the first one out of the way. I feel like I've been playing a little bit better, getting some chances, so it was good to get the first one. I think there's parts of my game that I would like to clean up, in the D-zone, sort of being a little more solid. Points-wise, they're sort of coming in bunches for me right now, so I'm just trying to keep it rolling." -- Hirose

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Sparty on! #LGRW

Quotable II: "He's obviously been good offensively creating assists and space for himself. It was good to see him get that one. He sees the game well, he's calm with the puck, he doesn't rush into things, he makes the simple plays and sometimes the simple plays are the best plays and he's shown that." -- Bertuzzi

Quotable III: "I've watched guys go from college to the NHL, you just never know. College to pro, period. You just never know what's going to translate, what's not going to translate with guys like that that are free agents that for whatever reason, weren't drafted. We played one of them on the back end of Boston tonight in Krug that was able to go and end up becoming a real good NHL player. But you're just not sure when they come if their game's going to translate. We're talking in the back there and Shawn Horcoff said to me, 'It looks exactly like he did at Michigan State. That's how he played.' It was kind of the same impact. So I think it's great. He looks to me like he's an NHL player. He can give you scoring. Doubles for sure knows he's a real good player, he's trying to get him the puck because he knows he's going to get it back. I think that's a real, real positive for us. Great job by Jiri Fischer." -- Blashill

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Atta boy @Tarzy17. #LGRW

3. Dylan Larkin/Tyler Bertuzzi: It isn't just Mantha who has been hot offensively. His linemates, Larkin and Bertuzzi, have been equally as productive. Larkin not only had the perfect assist on Mantha's first goal, he scored the empty-net goal at 19:02 of the third period, his 32nd of the season. Mantha and Filip Hronek assisted on that tally. Larkin now has goals in four consecutive games, the longest goal streak for the Wings this season and tying Larkin's career best, set Nov. 16-21, 2015, which was the last time a Wings player had a four-game goal streak. Larkin also extended his point streak to five games and he has five goals and three assists in that span. In addition, Larkin became the first Wings player to reach 70 points (32-38-70) since Zetterberg had 80 points (24-56-80) in 2010-11. Larkin finished with 30 shifts for a game-high 23:40, had three shots, one blocked shot, was 8-of-22 in face-offs and was plus-3. Bertuzzi assisted on all three of Mantha's goals, extending his point streak to four games. Bertuzzi has three goals and seven assists in that span. It marked Bertuzzi's third straight three-point game and he is the fourth player in the league to accomplish that feat, joining Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov (Feb. 10-14), Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel (Dec. 27-31) and Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele (Dec. 13-16). The last Wings player to record three straight three-point games was Steve Yzerman in 1992-93, when he did so twice from Feb. 3-11 and March 5-10. Bertuzzi finished with 22 shifts for 16:18, had one shot, two giveaways, a blocked shot and was plus-2.

Quotable: "That's what I think is great about the night is Larkin's line went against (Patrice) Bergeron's the whole time and in my opinion, most of the night, outplayed them. Double-A went against (David) Krejci most of the night and the success Krejci had was when Double-A wasn't out there. So they went head to head against real players. Obviously they're, I think, maybe the second-best team in the East right now and they went head to head against them and in my opinion, won the battle. So I think that's great that those guys were able to do that. Double-A, Hirose and (Darren) Helm and Larkin's line, I think it's a big thing. Our young guys, every step they take to prove to themselves they can be elite players in this league, is a real positive for the Detroit Red Wings." -- Blashill

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Mantha, Hirose, Bertuzzi & Blashill speak with the media following tonight's 6-3 win over Boston at Little Caesars Arena. 👏@CocaCola | #LGRW

Quotable II: "We played pretty well again tonight other than that shorthanded goal they scored, that was on us and we knew that, other than that, we played well and played smart." -- Bertuzzi

Quotable III: "There's a lot of nights I was the opposite this year. Tonight, it was going well for me, for our line. Hopefully it keeps going that way. It's just having fun right now, trying to build chemistry for next year. I think we're doing the right things, keeping it simple and finding each other on the ice." -- Mantha

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: .@Dylanlarkin39 is always #ForTheKids. 🤩 #LGRW

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