DETROIT - DETROIT (AP) — Alex DeBrincat continued his hot start with his fifth career hat trick and the Detroit Red Wings extended their winning streak to five games by defeating road-weary Calgary 6-2 on Sunday.
DeBrincat, acquired in an offseason trade with Ottawa, increased his season goal total to a league-high eight.
"I’ve played with a lot of great players in my career, and I’ve tried to watch them and see where they go and learn some things from all of them," DeBrincat said. "I think it is a little bit of that and a little bit of natural instincts. I was always smaller than everyone else, so I had to find different ways to score other than powering to the net."
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 22: Alex DeBrincat #93 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his second period goal while playing the Calgary Flames at Little Caesars Arena on October 22, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joe Veleno scored his third goal in two games and Dylan Larkin supplied a goal and an assist. Jake Walman scored his first goal this season, while Justin Holl and Lucas Raymond added three assists apiece. James Reimer made 29 saves for the Red Wings.
Detroit was playing the second game of a back-to-back after winning at Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.
"I don’t want to say this was a trap, but after such an emotional game yesterday and playing back to back, an inexperienced team might have come out flat," coach Derek Lalonde said. "I challenged our guys not to do that and they came out with a pretty good effort."
Andrew Mangiapane and Yegor Sharangovich scored for Calgary. Dan Vladar stopped 24 shots for the Flames, who finished 1-3-1 on a five-game road swing.
"Six games in and a lot of hockey left to be played but we’ve got to pick it up," Flames center Mikael Backlund said. "We don’t want to fall behind here. We want to say within the race."
DeBrincat’s first goal of the game came off a pass by Holl 1:59 into the game. Veleno scored midway through the first period when he deflected a Ben Chiarot shot from the point.
Detroit made it 3-0 two minutes into the second period. DeBrincat made a circle-to-circle pass to Larkin, who lifted a shot over Vladar’s right shoulder.
Calgary got on the board with 7:48 left in the period when Mangiapane knocked in a rebound of a Backlund shot. Detroit quickly responded when Larkin set up DeBrincat for a one-timer that beat Vladar on the stick side.
"Cat’s hockey sense is off the charts," Larkin said. "Everyone knows he can score, but it is how he finds space and how he finds pockets. It honestly took a little bit to get used to playing with a player who is looking for spots where most guys can’t score."
Sharangovich cut the Wings’ lead to two late in the second period on a shot from the point.
Shortly after Walman’s goal, DeBrincat collected his hat trick with 16:16 remaining on a blast from the left circle that beat Vladar on the short side.
"If you turn over as many pucks as we did, you’re asking for it," Calgary coach Ryan Huska said. "Then it’s just a steady dose of odd man rushes coming back against. That’s not a recipe for winning at any level."
Flames D Rasmus Andersson served the first game of his four-games suspension. The league handed down the suspension for a charging penalty committed at Columbus on Friday. ... DeBrincat set a franchise history by scoring eight goals in his first six games with the club. Ed Litzenberger held the previous record with six goals in his first six games with Detroit in 1961. ... Larkin has 16 points in 15 career games against Calgary.
Flames: Host New York Rangers on Tuesday.
Red Wings: Host Seattle on Tuesday.