The Detroit Red Wings rose to the top of the NHL this season, led by Norm Ullman's scoring and Roger Crozier's performance in goal. Ullman had 42 goals to lead the league and finished second to Chicago's Stan Mikita in scoring, while Crozier won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookies.
The Canadiens got off to a great start, but injuries hurt them late in the season and they ended up in second place, 4 points behind Detroit. Mikita and Bobby Hull got the Blackhawks home in third. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who had won the Stanley Cup three straight years, finished fourth.
That set up the same semifinal matches as in the previous two seasons, with the two Canadian teams playing one another in one series, the Blackhawks and Red Wings facing off in the other. Montreal eliminated Toronto in six games while the Blackhawks prevailed in a seven-game series.
Montreal won the first two games of the final at home and Chicago evened the series with two home victories. Game 5 was a 6-0 blowout for the Canadiens, but the Blackhaws got two goals in the third period to win the next contest, 2-1.
In Game 7 at Montreal, Jean Beliveau scored just 14 seconds in and the Blackhawks never did score against veteran goaltender Gump Worsley. The Canadiens won, 4-0, to claim the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1960.
Beliveau, who scored three game-winning goals against Chicago, became the first winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the final series.