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Canadiens vs. Red Wings Top Six Minutes: The season ends. The future is just beginning.

Apr 16, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Logan Mailloux (94) plays the puck and Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond (23) forechecks during the first period at the Bell Centre. | Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

First period

  • Mike Matheson’s first puck touch is a giveaway, just to let Logan Mailloux see what it’s like to defence a three-on-two on his first shift.
  • The crowd realizes Lane Hutson is holding the puck, and a cheer cascades through the crowd.
  • Juraj Slafkovský picks up the puck, passes it to Cole Caufield, who passes it back, but Slafkovský wasn’t prepared fro that play.
  • Matheson is a little more careful with possession on his second shift and that eventually allows Mailloux to set him up for a shot.
  • Nick Suzuki takes a short pass from Hutson, but can’t give the now experienced defenceman his second point.
  • The Red Wings have learned they can just kick the feet out from under Habs players to get some open space. The refs aren’t going to mess up their playoff chances.
  • Alex Newhook opens the scoring, and Logan Mailloux has his first NHL point a night after Hutson got his.
  • When Hutson walks the line, the good news is the forward are trying to give him sticks to aim for, rather than just watching him like I do.
  • David Savard tries to play the puck up the middle of the ice, and that ends up on the stick of Dylan Larkin. Moritz Seider shoots, Alex DeBrincat tips, and the game is tied.
  • The Habs survive a late flurry to exit the period with the score at 1-1.
  • Meanwhile, it is 1-0 Washington after 20 minutes in Philadelphia., the 31st goal of the year for Alexander Ovechkin To reiterate, the Capitals winning that games gives them the second wild card.

Second period

  • DeBrincat hits the post seconds into the middle period after a Josh Anderson turnover. They did that a few times last night.
  • Watchin Slafkovský fending off a man with one hand and making a pass with the other is always fun.
  • Montreal is getting zone time, but not doing anything with it. They seem content to just not be paying in their own zone like they for the entire second half of Monday’s game.
  • Joel Armia gets the puck behind Jame Reimer, and Brendan Gallagher dives into to finish its journey.
  • As good as it is to see the young guys playing well, the return to a impactful level for Gallagher is one of the best signs for better fortunes in 2024-25.
  • The Red Wings launch one of their rushes up the ice, but despite looking a bit scrambly in his crease, Cayden Primeau stop the two shots they fire.
  • Newhook sends a shot that pinballs off Reimer’s glove and then the post.
  • Suzuki pulls the puck right through a defender, moves out toward the point, and slings a pass across his body to Slafkovský. Reimer makes an incredible stop on that shot, but can do nothing to deny Caufield’s 28th goal of the season.
  • As I said before, 120 more of those next year.
  • Primeau heads the puck away and loses track of it. On a delayed penalty, Joe Veleno is the only one who can find it.
  • Armia gets tripped down in the neutral zone. His legs are still attached to his body however, so there will be no penalty.
  • Elsewhere, shots at 9-8 at the midpoint of Capitals-Flyers.
  • The Red Wings are called for a penalty. The cheer from the Bell Centre crowd is nearly as loud as it was for Mailloux’s first point.
  • Matheson still gets the first wave. Hopefully we’ll see the young guys too.
  • Reimer robs Slafkovský again.
  • Hutson is out with the second wave.
  • He doesn’t make a drop-pass, but skates the puck up. He’s going to get a talking-to for that one.
  • Lucas Raymond tosses the puck out of play, and that’s a brief five-on-three.
  • Jeff Petry punches Caufield in the face. Caufield goes right back at him.
  • Montreal carries a lead into the intermission. Sean Couturier has tied the game in Philly.

Third period

  • Do the Red Wings have another period in them like the one they played last night?
  • Well, since Daniel Sprong banked the puck off Primeau form behind the goal line and in, the answer may be ‘yes.’
  • Suzuki blocks a Ben Chiarot shot and turns it into a breakaway, but the defenceman gets back to disrupt Suzuki’s shot.
  • The Red Wings are now in a situation where they need to win but they also don’t want to give up a goal, and the play has gotten very conservative.
  • Hutson gets a cheer for a good playmaking shift.
  • Halfway through the the third periods, 3-3 in Montreal, still 1-1 in Philadelphia.
  • Hutson does a little jig to get a rise out of the crowd, and then throws the puck at the net. He gets another point as Slafkovský tips it in, his 20th goal of the season and 50th point after such a slow start. A really excellent end to the season for him.
  • The crowd is singing “Olé!” Not for this season; for the next 10.
  • Montreal is doing a good job of defending the lead with the puck in Detroit’s zone.
  • With two minutes to go, the Red Wings ramp up for the finish.
  • Reimer goes to the bench.
  • Primeau makes a save, calmly scoops up the puck with two or three forwards whacking away at him.
  • The Red Wings deflect the puck on a clear. All four officials were hoping no one had noticed that. Jake Evans certainly did, and gets the faceoff to go to centre ice.
  • Two Detroit players stand at the goal line and watch the puck cross for an icing call.
  • David Perron scores off the faceoff with 3.3 seconds to play.
  • For the fourth time this season, Habs and Red Wings play beyond 60 minutes.
  • Montreal will finish the season on a five-game point streak.


  • Hutson-Suzuki-Caufield for a shift.
  • Primeau stops Dylan Larkin on a breakaway.
  • Newhook tries to go around the net, and Patrick Kane puts his stick under his skate. The referee has no choice but to raise his arm.
  • Power-play unit is the top line and Matheson.
  • Out comes Hutson.
  • It’s now four-on-four.
  • Mailloux gets a shift, and tries to end it on a shot from the slot. Reimer makes the save.
  • The last game of the season will be decided in a shootout.
  • The Capitals have won. Detroit is eliminated. The shootout is just for fun (and a point).


  • Caufield is stopped on the first attempt.
  • Primeau stays with Larkin.
  • A loud cheer, and that means Hutson is up next.
  • He tries a few too many dekes, and runs out of space, but at least everyone had fun.
  • Primeau stops Raymond’s shot with his glove.
  • Suzuki goes third. He tries hi delayed flip, but Reimer is on it.
  • Patrick Kane goes last, and seals the win.
  • Montreal will finish with 76 points, temporarily jumping ahead of the Arizona Coyotes.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) That explains the celebration

2) A solid debut

1) Let’s all look forward to 82-plus games like this next year

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