#2 Anthony Mantha
Anthony Mantha has been on fire whether Caps fans want to admit it or not. After a goal the previous night against the Los Angeles Kings which also resulted in a Caps win, Mantha once again scored but this time in quick fashion to start the game.
Mantha would capitalize on a Ducks turnover at the corner of the ice then glided across the front of the net to backhand the puck in. The goal came 1:27 into the game or 87 seconds.
It was Mantha’s fifth goal of the season. The previous night in LA saw Mantha with Aliaksei Protas and Connor McMichael on the third line. That third line along with Charlie Lindgren was the key to the Capitals defeating the Kings.
The lines were shaken up last night but McMichael and Mantha remained together. This time they elevated up to the second line with Dylan Strome centering it.
Three of Mantha’s five goals this season have been game opening goals. He leads the Capitals in that stat. Mantha has been much better this season than the previous two years. Two seasons ago he dealt with an injury.
This past season was a down season as he was healthy but spent a lot of time in the press box as a healthy scratch. But now his game has improved and his confidence is certainly back.