Dylan Larkin played more minutes against the Lightning Monday than ever in his career, and his extra work in the offseason is what helped make the night a success.

If Larkin keeps it up, he may turn the ore of a good player into the steel of a great one.

What the Red Wings prize about Larkin, beyond his skill, is his willingness to work. His capacity for it seems to come almost instinctive.

One look at Larkin in the dressing room this early season made plain he is a bigger man, significantly more muscular.

It is the product of extra work in the offseason, and it made his 24:33 time on ice against an offensive juggernaut of a lineup feel routine.

“I definitely put in a lot of hours,” Larkin said, of an offseason conditioning routine. “I added a sixth day of the week instead of five.

“It was commitment, but it feels good to have the success early.

“I played a lot of minutes last night, I think my most ever in hockey.”

The narrow loss, in a game the Wings played well enough to win, provided a good test of Larkin’s increased conditioning.