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Mantha scores OT winner as Wings edge Senators

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Ottawa, Ontario — It’s an important road trip and the Red Wings started it the right way.

Anthony Mantha scored 1:07 into overtime Thursday, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Niklas Kronwall jumped on a Senators turnover, went in 2-on-1 with Mantha in the zone, and Mantha snapped a shot past goalie Mike Condon.

“They tried to clear it and Kroner intercepted the pass,” Mantha said. “He faked real good to get an open net for me.”

It was Mantha’s seventh goal and third in four games, one of the best stretches of Mantha’s young career, as he continues to gain confidence at the NHL level.

BOX SCORE: Red Wings 3, Senators 2, overtime

“He was maybe the best player on the ice,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s 6-foot-5, and when he wants to skate like that, he’s a heckuva player.

“He just needs to continue to move those feet at that level. If he does that, he’ll be a heckuva NHL player.”

The Red Wings (16-16-4) have won two of their last three games — and are 9-6-1 on the road as they begin a seven-game trip.

For all their troubles at home, the Red Wings have been able to stay in the pack in the standings due to their road success.

“We have to be like that every game,” said Tomas Tatar, whose second-period goal tied the score. “Whether it’s home or away, we played a real good, responsible in every zone, and just played good hockey.”

Thomas Vanek opened the Red Wings  scoring, the first time in 11 games they’ve scored the game’s opening goal.

Ottawa (20-12-4, 44 points) has lost two consecutive games after having won four in a row. Derick Brassard and Mark Stone had Senators goals.

The Red Wings killed an important two-man Ottawaadvantage for 1:16 late in the second period with the score tied, which proved to be a crucial part of the game.

“Millsie (Drew Miller) and Glennie (Luke Glendening) and Kroner (Niklas Kronwall), they did an excellent job, they didn’t give up shots and made it difficult for them to choose a shot selection,” Blashill said.

The only negative aspect of this win for the Red Wings: They were 0-for-5 on the power play, failing on three opportunities in the third period to put the game away.

But that aside, the Red Wings rallied after falling behind 2-1 in the second period and played a sound, effective final 20 minutes.

Goalie Jared Coreau stopped 26 shots for the Red Wings, playing in his hometown of Ottawa.

“It was the best game he’s played for us of the three,” said Blashill. “He looked the most calm, compact, made big saves.”

Coreau allowed a late first-period goal to Brassard, with just 16 seconds left, but didn’t let the costly goal affect him.

“I just said reset and we’ll come out as hard as they are to start the second,” Coreau said.

Coreau’s grandmother, Patricia, 92 years young, was in attendance, as were numerous family and friends.

“It was just a real good feeling,” Coreau said. “I was just looking at all the hard work that’s gone in to get to this point.

“The real work starts now and I’ll keep that mind.”

And of his grandmother?

“She’s a wonderful woman and a great grandmother, minus the pink hat and mittens she knitted me,” Coreau said. “I was so happy she could make it.”

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com: tkulfan