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Mantha Makes Return From Back-To-Back Scratches; Speaks On Play

Washington Capitals forward Anthony Mantha looks back at his return from back-to-back healthy scratches and shares how he felt things went in a 3-1 loss on Saturday.



WASHINGTON — Coming out of the gate on Saturday, Anthony Mantha was flying for the Washington Capitals against the Philadelphia Flyers. He had fresh legs and a lot to prove after sitting out as a healthy scratch for back-to-back games, and he worked hard to make a statement.

And, while it didn't turn into a goal, Mantha put himself back on the radar in a 3-1 loss on Saturday.

"I felt good," Mantha noted. "I think I was moving my feet. I think I had a couple opportunities."

Mantha finished with four shots — including a nice early breakaway that Carter Hart caught with the blocker — and two hits and was a minus-1 through 17:10. He got time on the second power-play unit, and he also led all skaters in even strength ice time (15:01).

"[I had] one breakaway I wish I had back," Mantha said.

Despite the result, Mantha said that the team had a good mentality on the ice today and that it showed in the team hitting 40 shots on net after a few games where the team saw a lull in offense. Still, Alex Ovechkin was the only one to find twine with his history-making 30th goal of the season.

"We had first chances, rebounds, opportunities, and we really played good. I think we made two mistakes, and it was in the back of our net, so there's games like that," Mantha said. "I think overall, we have a positive mindset today, even though we didn't come out with the win."

Through 43 games this season, Mantha has nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points. He has seen his share of inconsistency this season, which led to the scratch, but he got a chance to show what he can do with Dylan Strome drawing out on Saturday. He didn't disappoint, though head coach Peter Laviolette did say that Strome would draw back in soon, hinting at more change coming for Washington as the team has dropped three of its last four decisions.

"It is what it is," Laviolette said. "If we didn't have those players at the beginning of the season, we might not be sitting in the position that we're in. The guys that signed came in and did a terrific job. We now have some guys back from injury, and we're trying to integrate that. Guys when they get the opportunity, they're going to go in there and play hard. But when they come out, it's not necessarily because they needed to come out. [Dylan's] played well for us this year."

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