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Grand moments

April 3rd, 1977
On April 3, 1977, the Canadiens met the Capitals in Washington, playing the last game of a regular season that most players can only dream of, and leaving the NHL record book in dire need of revision.

The outcome of the game was sealed in the first period. Guy Lafleur opened the scoring at the 4:21 mark, giving “The Flower” a point or more in a 28th consecutive game, an NHL record he’d hold until Wayne Gretzky dethroned him in 1982-83. His 136-point campaign earned Lafleur the Art Ross Trophy for a second straight season and eclipsed the team mark of 125 he had set the year before. He also took home the Hart Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award.

After Washington’s Bill Riley drew the Caps even, Steve Shutt potted what would prove to be the game-winner at 18:19. It was the 60th time Shutt had lit the lamp, becoming the first Hab and first NHL left-winger to reach the plateau. He would remain the league record-holder until the Kings' Luc Robitaille scored 63 in 1992-93.

Larry Robinson, who would later be awarded the Norris Trophy, got an assist on the play to bump his point total to 85 – still the most ever by a Habs defenseman – and upping his goal differential to plus-120, another team record.

Neither team scored in the game’s final 40 minutes as Scotty Bowman’s crew signed off on the season with a 60th victory, becoming the first NHL team to reach that level of success. Only the 1995-96 Red Wings (also coached by Bowman), while playing an 82-game schedule, won more games than did the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens.

A 60-8-12 record earned the Canadiens 132 points, yet another record that has not been matched. Their eight losses were the fewest suffered in NHL competition since the league schedule expanded beyond 50 games.

Moreover, thanks to Ken Dryden and Michel Larocque’s prowess between the pipes, the Canadiens outscored their opponents 387-171, ending the year with a never-before-seen 216-goal surplus on the season.

Along with the Stanley Cup, which they captured a few weeks later, the Canadiens also put their hands on the Jack Adams (Bowman) and Vézina (Dryden and Larocque) Trophies.