After a number of fights, a bench-clearing brawl broke out as the siren sounded to end the second period. Amongst the fourteen altercations at the end of the second period were the Canadiens' Mario Tremblay smashing the nose of the Nordiques' Peter Stastny, and Nordiques' Louis Sleigher knocking Canadiens' Jean Hamel unconscious by hitting him in the eye.Bruce Hood, the referee for the game, sent the teams off the ice without officially ending the second period by assigning penalties for the brawl.
After the intermission, with all players from both teams on the ice to warm up for the third period, a second brawl broke out. The public announcer started reading the penalty summary as the players warmed up, and as players heard the confirmation that they were to be ejected from the game anyway, some felt they "might as well take some guys with (them)" (per Larry Robinson), as "they had nothing to lose" (per Guy Carbonneau). In particular, the Canadiens players went after the Nordiques' Louis Sleigher, furious with him for the damage he had inflicted on Jean Hamel in the original brawl. The second brawl included a fight between brothers Dale Hunter (Nordiques) and Mark Hunter (Canadiens).
The officials had to be summoned to the ice to restore order. Referee Bruce Hood was roundly criticized for his handling of the situation. Hood had failed to "complete" the second period by informing the time keeper and the head coaches as to what penalties had been assigned, including which players (including Sleigher) had been ejected from the game and should not return to the ice for the third period. Hood retired after the playoffs that year, doing so amidst speculation that his retirement occurred at the behest of the NHL.
A total of 252 penalty minutes were incurred and 11 players were (belatedly) ejected. Hamel managed to return for training camp in the autumn of 1984, but sustained another eye injury in Montreal's October 4 pre-season game, prompting him to retire.
When the brawl took place, the Canadiens were trailing 1-0. They came back to score all five of their goals in the third period to defeat the Nordiques that night 5-3, thereby winning the series 4 games to 2. However, the Canadiens were defeated in the Prince of Wales Conference Finals by the New York Islanders in six games.