The Detroit Red Wings were finally able to get a much-needed victory on Thursday night, a 5-2 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets for their first win in a calendar month. And now, they’ll have reinforcements as they try for their second straight win.
Forward Anthony Mantha is set to return tonight, and it will be extra special for him as it will be against his hometown Montreal Canadiens at Belle Centre. And you can bet he’s excited.
“It was huge,” Mantha said of being cleared to play after the team’s morning skate. “Obviously when I got the verdict back from the docs, they said three to five, six weeks. I knew day for day, three weeks was Montreal so I wanted to be back in the lineup and ready to go.”
At the time of Mantha’s injury (November 23 at New Jersey), Mantha was the team’s leading goal scorer with 12. And he’s still the leading scorer, though forward Tyler Bertuzzi has passed him in total points.
“Anthony is obviously a really, really talented and good offensive player and one of our biggest offensive threats, if not the biggest offensive threat,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He was having a heck of a year before he got hurt. He looks good. This is on the early side of the timeline but I think he’s done a really good job of getting himself prepared. He looks really good, he’s in a good frame of mind, so it just gives us more weapons.”
The Red Wings and Canadiens will face-off just after 7:00 PM tonight from Montreal.