Anthony Mantha now has more Gordie Howe hat tricks than Gordie Howe
The Washington Capitals’ 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday was a pretty tight affair. The crowd inside Capital One Arena was treated to two ten-minute fouls, six fighting majors, four brutal penalties and an expulsion.
He was an old hockey player and a Capitals winger Anthony Mantha recorded a suitable hit in the middle of the melee. The big forward recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick as he scored a goal, tallied an assist and fought back.
Mantha accomplished the special hockey achievement twice with the Detroit Red Wings before his final Friday with the Caps. That means he now has more Gordie Howe career hat-tricks than the man who names it all. Despite playing a record 2,421 professional hockey games, Howe himself managed just two in his NHL career.
Mantha took the first third of the score sheet requirements midway through the first period. He took a fantastic cross-ice pass from Lars Eller, skated to the puck and beat a helpless Andrei Vasilevskiy for his fifth goal of the season.
It was only Mantha’s second goal in his last eleven games.
Early in the third period, Mantha set up Conor Sheary with a nifty pass that allowed the diminutive winger to slide into the Lightning defensive zone untouched on a breakaway. Sheary beat Vasilveskiy over the glove to give Mantha his third assist of the year.
The assist marked Mantha’s second multi-point game in his last four outings and his 43rd career multi-point game.
Mantha finished off the hat trick with a fight over Corey Perry late in the game during an online fight caused by a cross check on John Carlson’s back. Mantha’s shirt got stuck to his head early in the fight and he clung on for dear life after that.
It was Mantha’s second fight of the season and 12th of his NHL career.
Reminder: These two teams will meet at Amalie Arena on Sunday. 🍿
— Bally Sports Florida and Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) November 12, 2022
The last Caps player to record a Gordie Howe hat trick before this was Tyler Lewington on December 29, 2018 against the Ottawa Senators. In that game, Lewington became the only player to complete the hat trick with all three components being the first of his NHL career.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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