The Detroit Red Wings came away with an incredible win in overtime over the Montreal Canadiens, but with the Washington Capitals beating the Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit was eliminated from playoff contention. Despite the disappointing end to the season and sad locker room, Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin is optimistic about the future, saying that the team took many necessary steps forward.

“It's hard — gutting,” Dylan Larkin said, via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. “We're pretty sad in here. To see it come to an end — we have a great group of guys, a great fun year, great year. To see it come to an end like that is very sad, very hard.”

The Red Wings trailed the Canadiens late in the third period by the score of 4-3, and after an offensive zone faceoff with 7.7 seconds left, David Perron fired one into the back of the net with 3.3 seconds left. At the moment, the season was saved for Detroit. That did not last long, as the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers were playing at the same time, tied at one. The Red Wings needed a win and a Capitals loss of any kind. The Flyers needed a regulation win, so with the game tied 1-1 late in the third they pulled their goalie, not knowing they were eliminated because of the Red Wings forcing overtime to secure at least a point. TJ Oshie scored an empty net goal to give the Capitals a 2-1 win, eliminating Detroit, and the other two teams in contention in the Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was a deflating way to end the season, especially with the way that the Red Wings tied the game late and went on to win in a shootout. This was supposed to be a season in which the Red Wings took a step and made the playoffs. They did take a step in the right direction, but narrowly missed the playoffs.

Dylan Larkin confident in Red Wings' direction

Despite missing the playoffs, Larkin said he views this year as a statement from the Red Wings, showing that they are on the way back and headed in the right direction.

“I'm a fan of this team,” Larkin said, via St. James. “I get to play on the team, but to see the future right in front of us, it's pretty special. This season was a statement that the organization is back and headed in the right direction. … I'm so honored to be a part of it, these guys that never quit. We had a very close-knit group this year. To have the last two weeks we had, we just wouldn't go away, we wouldn't die. Comeback after comeback. It was so much fun. I wish we had more with this group. I wish we got the opportunity to play in the playoffs. It would have been so much fun.”

The Red Wings will turn focus to the offseason to try to bolster the roster and make the playoffs in 2025.