Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, March 11, 1948
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
The Montréal Canadiens kept the light of their rapidly dimming playoff torch aglimmer here tonight with a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Although they must win all their remaining games while the fourth place Boston Bruins lose all theirs to make the post-schedule Cup series, the Canadiens played as though they had been relieved of all pressure. In sharp contrast, the Leafs, forced to take second place in the league standing, two points behind Detroit, looked dull and lacked much of the spark that has kept them at the front of the pack most of the season.
It was a rubber victory for coach Dick Irvin’s charges, winning six, tying one and losing five out of twelve games. It was also the Canadiens’ fifth victory against the Leafs on Forum ice.
Pregame indications were that the two interprovincial rivals would make the final scheduled game the opportunity to even many an old score, and at the outset it looked as though the 11,002 fans were going to witness a knockdown contest.
However, little referee George Gravel kept the game well in hand, banishing players at the slightest sign of trouble. He had his work cut out for him in the opening period with 10 penalties, including double trips to the penance bench for Bill Ezinicki, Butch Bouchard and Kenny Reardon. Gravel issued only three minors in the second period, and two in the final session.
The Canadiens were full value for their victory. They played very well, especially the once more revamped Punch Line, with Bob Fillion working on left wing with Elmer Lach and Maurice Richard. The Montréal scoring, a goal in every period, was spread among the three regular lines. But the clever work of Richard was the outstanding feature of the game.
Richard combined with Lach on a pretty passing play for the first Montréal goal, with Fillion starting the play in the Hab zone. The powerful right winger missed many a chance to pick up goals with a combination of bad shooting and clever work by Turk Broda. On numerous occasions, Broda stopped Richard from point blank range, while on at least two occasions the Rocket hit goal posts.
Lach’s goal gave him 53 points, and moved him within one point of second place Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart and Doug Bentley.
The Leafs tied the score early in the second period, with Gus Mortson’s long slider hitting the net without Bill Durnan making a move. Jacques Locas sent the Canadiens ahead 13 minutes later on a ganging attack in front of Broda, and Murph Chamberlain sewed the game up in the final period.
The Kennedy line did most of the Toronto attacking, such as it was, but the visitors failed to impress.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 12, 1948
MTL PEN – 00:14 – Lach, holding
TOR PEN – 07:27 – Ezinicki, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 08:22 – Lach (Richard, Fillion)
MTL PEN – 08:34 – Bouchard, interference
TOR PEN – 14:12 – Ezinicki, holding
MTL PEN – 14:59 – Reay, hooking
MTL PEN – 15:59 – Reardon, high sticking
TOR PEN – 15:59 – Mortson, fighting major
MTL PEN – 17:59 – Reardon, roughing
MTL PEN – 19:25 – Bouchard, roughing
TOR PEN – 19:25 – Meeker, roughing
TOR GOAL – 02:46 – Mortson (Meeker)
TOR PEN – 02:50 – Barilko, interference
TOR PEN – 12:31 – Mortson, holding
MTL GOAL – 15:25 – Locas (Riopelle)
MTL PEN – 16:13 – Harvey, boarding
MTL PEN – 04:30 – Locas, holding
MTL PEN – 10:29 – Bouchard, hooking
MTL GOAL – 17:44 – Chamberlain (Reay)
MTL – Durnan (W)
TOR – Broda (L)
MTL – Goaltenders: Bill Durnan (C). Defence: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Roger Leger, Ken Reardon. Forwards: Joe Carveth, Murph Chamberlain, Floyd Curry, Bob Fillion, Elmer Lach, Jacques Locas, Kenny Mosdell, Billy Reay, Maurice Richard, Rip Riopelle.
TOR – Goaltenders: Turk Broda. Defence: Bill Barilko, Garth Boesch, Gus Mortson, Wally Stanowski, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Syl Apps (C), Max Bentley, Bill Ezinicki, Ted Kennedy, Joe Klukay, Vic Lynn, Howie Meeker, Nick Metz, Sid Smith, Harry Watson.
MTL – 17-28-11 (.402)
TOR – 28-15-13 (.616)