May 27th, 2024

Raymond scores OT winner, Red Wings clip Canadiens 5-4 to keep playoff hopes alive

By Larry Lage, The Associated Press on April 15, 2024.

DETROIT (AP) – Lucas Raymond scored with 25 seconds left in overtime after he scored a game-tying goal with 1:17 remaining in regulation, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 comeback win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night that keeps their playoff hopes alive.

“All he did tonight is give us an opportunity,” said J.T. Compher, who scored two goals for Detroit to cut into deficits. “All this did was give us a chance to finish the job.”

The Red Wings will make the playoffs if they win at Montreal and Washington loses at Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said his team has surpassed pre-season expectations, putting it in a position to earn a spot in the playoffs on the final game of the regular season.

“It’s here now,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge.”

Detroit drew iron on two shots in overtime before Raymond’s shot from the right circle got past Sam Montembeault, triggering a celebration with every teammate on the ice and screaming fans in the stands.

“I kind of blacked out to be honest,” Raymond said.

Brendan Gallagher scored two goals and Montembeault stopped 30 shots for the Canadiens, who scored two early goals and were ahead 4-1 late in the second period.

Compher pulled the Red Wings within a goal midway through the first period and scored again to cut their deficit to two late in the second. Alex DeBrincat made it 4-3 midway through the third.

“They got a couple goals, a couple octopuses on the ice and the building really got going,” Gallagher said. “They’re desperate.”

Detroit made up for Alex Lyon giving up two goals on the first three shots he faced, allowing two more goals in the second period and finishing with 17 saves against a team far removed from playoff contention.

The Red Wings were in 25 straight post-seasons, the third-longest run in NHL history, and the streak stopped in 2016 when they played at Joe Louis Arena. Fans, desperate to cheer for a playoff team again, filled Little Caesars Arena for the final regular-season game at home.

Gallagher’s first goal was set up by Lane Hutson, a 20-year-old defenceman from Holland, Mich., in his NHL debut.

“Having all my family here, it’s really special,” said Hutson, a 2022 second-round pick.

Justin Barron followed with a goal less than two minutes later for the Canadiens.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard restored Montreal’s two-goal lead early in the second period and Gallagher’s second goal made it 4-1 late in the period.

“We did a pretty good job of silencing the crowd for the majority of the game,” Gallagher said.

The Canadiens have missed the playoffs three straight times since losing in the 2021 Stanley Cup final and are aiming to avoid a third consecutive last-place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

UP NEXT

The Red Wings and Canadiens close the regular season on Tuesday night in Montreal.

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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