DET MTL OT 04:15:24

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings will live to see another day in the Stanley Cup Playoffs race, thanks to an unwavering team belief and Lucas Raymond’s late-game heroics.

After scoring the game-tying goal with 1:17 left in regulation, Raymond netted the game-winner at 4:35 of overtime to lift the Red Wings past the Montreal Canadiens, 5-4, at Little Caesars Arena on Monday night.

“A lot of emotions, up and down,” Raymond said about Detroit’s 2023-24 regular-season home finale. “Found a way again to be able to get two points, which is huge. Obviously we don’t want to put ourselves in those positions, but we ended up there and I think we handled it pretty good.”

On Tuesday night, the Red Wings (40-32-9; 89 points) can clinch a postseason berth by earning two points against the Canadiens (30-36-15; 75 points) and if the Washington Capitals (39-31-11; 89 points) earn no more than one point against the Philadelphia Flyers (38-32-11; 87 points). Washington and Detroit are tied in the standings, but the Capitals hold the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot because it has the tiebreaker with more regulation wins.

Detroit goalie Alex Lyon made 17 saves, while Montreal netminder Sam Montembeault finished with 30.

“We know what we need to do,” said J.T. Compher, who also scored two goals. “All tonight did was give us an opportunity to finish the job tomorrow. We’ll control what we can control, which is our game. All we did was give ourselves a chance to finish the job tomorrow.”

The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead at 4:25 of the first period when Brendan Gallagher sent the rebound of a shot from rookie and Holland, Mich., native Lane Hutson, who was making his NHL debut, into the back of the net. The Red Wings found themselves in a 2-0 hole just 1:50 later, as Justin Barron finished a shot from the slot on an odd-man rush.

Giving Detroit a much-needed jolt of energy, Compher’s first goal of the game cut it 2-1 at 8:11 of the first period. He stashed a rebound up close after a shot from Alex DeBrincat hit the post and slid across the goal line. Ben Chiarot, who played parts of three seasons (2019-22) with Montreal, got the secondary assist.

Rafael Harvey put the Canadiens ahead 3-1 at 5:15 of the second period, slipping behind the Red Wings’ defense and putting Jake Evans’ feed past Lyon.

Gallagher extended it to 4-1 at 15:25 of the second period with his second goal of the game before Compher swiftly responded 32 seconds later, slicing the Red Wings’ deficit in half 4-2. After taking a pass from Patrick Kane, David Perron threaded a backhanded cross-ice feed to Compher to light the lamp for the second time.

“Obviously big,” Compher said about his 19th goal of the season. “But I think we still believed down three goals. We’ve came back a lot of times this year. When you do things consistently, that’s what causes the belief that we can come back in the game and get the two points we needed.”

Clawing back, Detroit made it 4-3 at 10:38 of the third period when DeBrincat buried a one-timer from the left face-off circle on a setup from Shayne Gostisbehere. Olli Maatta recorded the secondary assist on DeBrincat’s 27th goal of the season.

Still in desperation mode, Detroit pulled Lyon late in the final frame. Then shortly after Gostisbehere impressively leaped to catch a high clearance attempt, Raymond buried a pass from Perron in front to knot things up at 4-4.

“Ray’s goal, the poise he had in that moment to take a few steps up with how hectic it was, what an unbelievable play to get us tied and get us to overtime,” Compher said.

Gostisbehere and captain Dylan Larkin had the assists on Raymond’s second goal of the game, which helped the Red Wings pick up two critical points.

“Just the growth of him," Detroit head coach Derek Lalonde said about Raymond, who has 31 goals this season. "We want these important games for many reasons down the stretch, and a lot of it is for the growth of some of our youth. And man, I give him a ton of credit." 

Andrew Copp returned to the lineup after missing the last two games because of a broken cheekbone.

NOTABLE: The Red Wings held a pregame ceremony to honor goalie James Reimer for playing in his 500th career NHL game. The 36-year-old netminder reached the milestone on Saturday when he started between the pipes for Detroit against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.

NEXT UP: Detroit will conclude its back-to-back home-and-home set against Montreal at Bell Centre on Tuesday night.

Meijer Postgame Comments | MTL vs. DET | 04/15/24


Lalonde on Monday's victory

“I can’t speak enough on the guys. I know this is the 13th game in which we were trailing in the third and we got two full points. Not took points, not lost in overtime. We actually won the game. We actually talked about it after the second (period), you have these little things throughout the year, when it happens, we’ll tap back into that.”

Lalonde on the Canadiens taking an early lead

“They scored on both of their chances in the second (period). Again, it’s frustrating. Not a great game, not a clean game. Credit to them, but we’re going to get out of that period two chances against and they both go in. Five chances over two periods, four go in. We just gave them too much easy offense around the scoring area. Not a lot, but just enough.”

Raymond on his game-winner

“Just saw Larks up ice, thought he was going for a breakaway first but he was probably pretty tired. Then just tried to jump up. I was pretty tired too and then just tried to get off a shot. Happy it went in.”

Raymond on being part of a postseason chase

“It’s been a lot of emotions up and down, but it’s been fun. I think all of us have enjoyed it. I think we’ve stuck with it and have been able to pull through with some really big points here down the stretch. I think if you look at our locker room, we have so many competitive guys who enjoy these types of games. Obviously would have liked it to be a little more steady, but it is what it is and we’ll take it from there. It shows a lot about our team, the way we’re able to come back in these games and come through in the end.”

Raymond on the crowd at Little Caesars Arena on Monday night

“This building has been amazing ever since I’ve been here. Tonight it helped us for sure, when you get momentum like that and the crowd feeds into it you get energy from that. Always feels really good whenever we’re able to give back to them. Just happy we were able to get a win for all the guys and girls here.”