Red Wings’ Alex DeBrincat aims to continue hot start vs. Jackets

Alex DeBrincat has delivered a much-needed scoring punch in his first two games with the Detroit Red Wings.

DeBrincat, who was acquired in an offseason deal with Ottawa, already has three goals and an assist. He’ll look to score for a third consecutive game when the Red Wings travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face the Blue Jackets on Monday night.

A Michigan native, DeBrincat supplied two goals and an assist in Detroit’s 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday.

“You always want to have a good start,” he said. “It’s something that goes through your mind but at the beginning of the year, you just want to do the little things right and hopefully the puck bounces your way.”

DeBrincat had a down year in his lone season with the Senators. He had 27 goals and a career-worst rating of minus-31.

DeBrincat scored 41 goals in the final of his five seasons with Chicago in 2021-22, the second time he reached that mark in his career.

“It’s a little early to be thinking about that (scoring 40-plus goals) but I want to stay as consistent as possible,” he said. “That’s what all the great goal scorers do — stay consistent throughout the season.”

With the Red Wings, DeBrincat is skating on the first line with center and team captain Dylan Larkin. They combined on a third-period goal against the Lightning, as Larkin set up his new linemate on a 2-on-1 breakaway.

“We used our speed and skills and had a lot of looks,” Larkin said. “We’d both admit against New Jersey (a 4-3 season-opening loss) and the preseason we were just finding our way. Things were clicking (Saturday).”

They were joined on the first line Saturday by Lucas Raymond, who scored his first goal this season.

Head coach Derek Lalonde agreed that, in general ,the offense was humming but he wasn’t thrilled with the defensive mistakes.

“I loved our offense but just six or seven really uncharacteristic plays that led to easy offense for them, which was unfortunate,” Lalonde said. “Hopefully we’ll grow from all that.”

Columbus also split its first two games. It bounced back from a season-opening loss to Philadelphia by defeating the New York Rangers 5-3 on Saturday.

Boone Jenner notched a natural hat trick while Pascal Vincent recorded his first head coaching victory.

Jenner’s hat trick was the second of his career. His first one occurred in March 2019.

“Obviously, it doesn’t happen often so I tried to soak it in when it happens,” he said. “It’s pretty cool and the fans were cheering. Pretty special. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s a good feeling.”

The Blue Jackets, who are in the midst of a four-game homestand, held a 4-1 lead after two periods.

“We managed the game really well the first two periods,” Vincent said. “It got a little tight in the third, but it’s a process. A really hard win bouncing back from a loss.”

The Red Wings took two of three games against the Blue Jackets last season. Jenner had three assists in those contests.