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Dylan Larkin’s first hat trick lifts Wings past Devils

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Dylan Larkin recorded his first career hat trick and the host Detroit Red Wings downed the struggling New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday.

Tyler Bertuzzi had two goals and Thomas Greiss stopped 31 shots for Detroit.

Michael McLeod and Dawson Mercer scored for the Devils, who have lost five straight and nine of their last 10 games.

Akira Schmid, making his second career start, had 25 saves.

Both teams were affected by positive COVID tests.

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 wings Filip Zadina and Givani Smith, center Carter Rowney and assistant coach Alex Tanguay.

The Devils placed defenseman P.K. Subban in COVID protocol on Saturday. They already had four players in protocol.

The Devils had the first nine shots on goal but the Wings struck first. Larkin scored with the aid of a fortunate bounce. Filip Hronek fired the puck from his zone and it bounced off the end board. Schmid tried to retrieve the puck but it bounced toward the crease and Larkin had an open net.

McLeod scored with 48.8 seconds left in the period. His straight-on shot fluttered over Greiss’ right shoulder to make it 1-1. Jimmy Vesey and Jonas Siegenthaler were credited with assists.

Larkin’s second goal of the game came with 8:12 left in the second period. He skated into the Devils zone off the bench, collected a pass from Vladislav Namestnikov and fired it in from the slot. Pius Suter had the second assist.

Bertuzzi made it 3-1 39 seconds later. He took a pass from Moritz Seider, skated to the left circle and zipped the puck past Schmid.

Larkin notched his hat track with 4:13 remaining in the period. He scored on a breakaway, beating Schmid on the stick side. Kyle Criscuolo had the assist.

Mercer scored a short-handed goal to cut Detroit’s lead to 4-2 before the period ended. Damon Severson assisted.

Bertuzzi ripped a shot from the right side over Schmid’s left shoulder with 5:53 remaining in the game to round out the scoring.

–Field Level Media

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