DETROIT (AP) — Dylan Larkin got his first career hat trick and added an assist as the Detroit Red Wings handed the New Jersey Devils their fifth consecutive loss, 5-2 on Saturday.
Tyler Bertuzzi had two goals for Detroit and Thomas Greiss made 32 saves.
Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer scored for New Jersey, and Akira Schmid made 26 saves in his second career start.
Larkin scored with 4:21 remaining in the opening period. Filip Hronek fired the puck into the New Jersey zone and it bounced off the end board. Schmid left the net to retrieve it but the puck bounced toward the crease, giving Larkin an open net to score.
McLeod tied the game with less than a minute left in the period. He lifted a shot past Greiss’ right shoulder.
Larkin completed his hat trick during the second period. He scored from the slot with 8:12 left, then followed Bertuzzi’s first goal of the game with his team-high 15th on a breakaway with 4:13 remaining to make it 4-1.
Mercer scored a short-handed goal before the period ended to cut Detroit’s lead to 4-2.
Bertuzzi scored his 12th with 5:53 remaining in the game.
Both teams were depleted by the wave of positive COVID tests around the league.
Detroit learned on Saturday it would be without head coach Jeff Blashill and top goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
They were placed in COVID protocol along with forwards Givani Smith, Carter Rowney and Filip Zadina and assistant coach Alex Tanguay. The Red Wings already had forwards Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen on the COVID list.
The Devils placed defenseman P.K. Subban in COVID protocol.
Defensemen Ryan Graves and Christian Jaros and forwards Nico Hischier and Jesper Boqvist were already on the protocol list. They were also without goalie Mackenzie Blackwood (neck) and forward Jesper Bratt (non-COVID illness)
New Jersey has allowed four or more goals in 15 games this season. ... The Red Wings recalled goaltender Calvin Pickard and forward Riley Barber to replenish the roster. ... Ben Simon, the head coach of Detroit’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, ran the team in Blashill’s absence. ... The teams will complete the three-game series with two games in April.
Devils: Host Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
Red Wings: Visit Minnesota North Stars on Thursday.