Jakub Vrana and Anthony Mantha were the major pieces in a deal between the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings at last season’s trade deadline. The deal was remarkably even. Both players are about the same age (Vrana, 26; Mantha, 27), of the same skill (Vrana, 169 points; Mantha, 209 points), and make nearly the same amount per season (Vrana, $5.25M; Mantha, $5.7M).
Their mirror-like careers have continued on the same trajectory during the 2021-22 season. Both Vrana and Mantha missed huge swaths of time due to major shoulder injuries – Jake in September and Mantha in November. They both returned to game action in early March. And on Tuesday, they scored their first goals on the same night since undergoing surgery.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 9, 2022
Vrana scored late in the second period of his season debut against the Arizona Coyotes. Vrana deposited a loose puck past Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka on a Red Wings power play. The goal was a momentary high moment for the Red Wings who would go on to lose 9-2 to Arizona.
Mantha with the iiiiiiice cold hesi to tie it back up 🥶
Welcome back Anthony!! pic.twitter.com/oQOsCYqDpk
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 9, 2022
Mantha scored on a wicked snap shot to the top corner of the net to tie the game 3-3 in the third period. The Capitals would go on to beat the Calgary Flames 5-4. It was Mantha’s first goal in three games since returning and his third overall this season.
And oh yeah, one last note: both players played on their respective team’s second line last night.
Crazy, right? It’s great to see both players back and healthy.
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