Red Wings ride hot line into matchup vs. Ducks

Field Level Media

The combination of Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi has powered the Detroit Red Wings to two season-opening victories.

That top line will try to stay hot against the Anaheim Ducks at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday.

Mantha enjoyed a career night on Sunday, scoring all of his team's goals in a 4-3 victory over Dallas in Detroit's home opener. The Wings' first line produced four of the five goals in a 5-3 season-opening triumph at Nashville on Saturday.

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Mantha's four-goal night was the first by a Red Wings player since Johan Franzen achieved the feat in February 2011. He already has five goals and two assists.

"I think I just have a better mentality of putting pucks on net," he told NHL.com. "What's the shooting percentage in this league? Nine percent? Out of 10 shots you maybe score one. I just try to get that percentage for myself higher. Eight shots, four went in. Maybe next game, I take eight shots and none go in. I just need to keep shooting as much as I can."

Mantha, a right wing, collected 25 goals and 23 assists in 67 games last season. He missed 15 games due to a broken hand suffered in a fight.

"I love the guy, I think he's a great teammate. He's playing well right now," Larkin said on NHL.com. "When he's hot, he can be one of the best in the world. We're seeing that right now. He's fun to play with. He's in that zone."

Larkin, generally considered the team's top player, has a goal and three assists. The hard-nosed Bertuzzi scored twice in Nashville and has three assists in Detroit's two games.

"We talked about it last night. Confidence is just there since last year," Mantha said of the first line.

"Playing with Bert and Larks, I can't praise them enough. They're playing unreal hockey right now. Us three as a line, playing great hockey. It's just bounces are coming our way and we need to take advantage of them."

The Red Wings are hopeful of getting another offensive threat, Andreas Athanasiou, back in action. He missed the first two games with an undisclosed injury.

The Ducks have relied on a stingy defense and strong goaltending to win their first two games. They downed Arizona 2-1 in their opener, then edged San Jose 3-1 on Saturday. John Gibson has made 67 saves.

Their game in Detroit kicks off a four-game road trip.

"That was a lot of fun, when you are playing with speed and everyone is on the same page and you are playing with the puck," forward Devin Shore told NHL.com after the win over the Sharks. "I think you can ask any player, that is when it is the most fun. Nobody likes to be stuck in their own end or fighting to get the puck back. When we are playing and working for each other, it is a lot of fun out there."

Like Detroit, Anaheim finished below .500 last season. Head coach Dallas Eakins is encouraged by his team's determination in the early going.

"We want to be real humble and in the same breath be very, very hungry," he said. "I thought our men did a great job of both (Saturday)."

--Field Level Media

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