Making Up For Lost Time: Anthony Mantha’s Red-Hot Return Boosting Capitals

Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Image

When the Washington Capitals lost top-six forward Anthony Mantha just 10 games into the 2021-22 regular season due to shoulder surgery, it left a huge hole in their lineup that, while filled admirably by a myriad of players, was obviously needing its intended holder to plug. Since returning to the team, the 27-year old has been a much-needed jolt to the Caps’ offense.

During the first period of the Capitals’ March 17 tilt against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Mantha scored two goals, coming just over eight minutes apart.

The first goal came at the 4:29 mark of the frame, assisted by T.J. Oshie.

The second came at the 12:20 mark, unassisted.

Since returning to the Caps’ lineup on March 3, Mantha has recorded five points, with all five in his last five contests (four goals, one assist). The two-goal performance marked Mantha’s first multi-goal game as a Capital and 14th overall. Acquired from the Detroit Red Wings last season in a deal that included former Capitals first-round pick Jakub Vrana, Mantha was expected to be a contributor to the Capitals’ top six forward group before going down with his shoulder injury.

On the season, Mantha has 11 points (6 G, 5 A) in 17 Games Played, and since his return, the Caps have gone 6-0-1, including going without a regulation loss in the month of March.

“He’s a big body, he’s got a really good skill level, make plays”, Head Coach Peter Laviolette commented after the game, “He can be physical, he’s playing really well with Oshie and Backstrom, it’s been a real good line for us, so it’s been good to have him back”.

Missing a large chunk of the season was difficult for Mantha, whose return was welcomed by the team.

“I worked extremely hard for that four months…I was obviously focused on coming back strong, coming back soon as possible, but not really having an impact like I had the last couple of games. It’s awesome, the boys are cheering me on”.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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