Game 283 – Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1

Game 283
Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1
Thursday, February 1, 1951
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Skating like mad in the first period, the Maple Leafs rapped all their goals in the initial seven minutes tonight and went on to a 3-1 triumph over the “Rocket”-less Montréal Canadiens.

Far from last season’s totals, when the Leafs had plenty of trouble winning over the Habitants, the result left the NHL second placers with a record of eight wins, one tie and one loss against their erstwhile tormentors on goals by Ray Timgren, Danny Lewicki and Cal Gardner.

Although the Habs came back to make it an even struggle in the last two periods, they couldn’t withstand Leaf first period speed that made for breakaways, plus good Leaf back checking and the sterling work throughout of Al Rollins in the Toronto nets. A blizzard, which began in the early morning, raged outside and a terrific traffic tie-up resulted in the first 20 minutes being completed before most of the Forum crowd of 14,373 was seated.

The Canadiens, handicapped by the continued loss of “Rocket” Richard, were outshot 25-19 in the free skating affair that had Timgren netting the opening goal. It marked his first score of the season; it came while the Leafs were shorthanded at the three minute mark, and he was congratulated by back-slapping mates.

Fern Flaman of the Leafs was off for holding, and Timgren was penalty killing with Joe Klukay when Joe stole the puck from Butch Bouchard in the Canadien end and managed a flipshot. Timgren sank the short rebound.

Howie Meeker, one of the better Leafs throughout, set up Toronto’s second tally little more than two minutes later on a breakaway after Flaman had cleared the puck out of the Leaf end. Meeker raced in on goal and passed over to the uncovered Danny Lewicki, who banged it by goalie Gerry McNeil.

Cal Gardner finished off the splurge at 6:33 when he rubber-legged it around rearguard Glen Harmon and drove a deceptive slapshot low into the corner. The Habitants couldn’t break their personal zero until after four minutes of the final period, when Baldy MacKay made it 3-1 by tipping in Bud MacPherson’s long drive.

NOTES: Defenceman Gus Mortson, favouring an injured ankle, was on the bench but not used by coach Joe Primeau…Rollins made some great saves, and looked sharper than McNeil…Max Bentley took a 10 minute misconduct after eight minutes of the third period for arguing a minor sentence imposed by referee Bill Knott…Timgren, who also did a good job when the Leafs were shorthanded, relieved him at centre…Bill Barilko, apparently fighting for his defence job with the Leafs, took four minors, one of them somewhat cheap…The Canadiens, on occasion and especially in the last five minutes, were unlucky around the net…McNeil was lifted for an extra forward in the last 65 seconds, and three Leafs shots missed the net, two of them deflected off course by Doug Harvey.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 2, 1951

1st Period
TOR PEN – 01:50 – Flaman, holding
TOR SH GOAL – 03:04 – Timgren (Klukay)
TOR GOAL – 05:42 – Lewicki (Meeker, Bentley)

TOR GOAL – 06:33 – Gardner (Watson)
TOR PEN – 06:28 – Barilko, holding
MTL PEN – 10:32 – Robert, hooking

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 10:37 – Meeker, elbowing
MTL PEN – 11:37 – MacKay, cross checking
TOR PEN – 16:28 – Barilko, tripping

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 01:01 – Barilko, boarding
MTL GOAL – 03:57 – MacKay (MacPherson, Curry)
TOR PEN – 08:08 – Bentley, hooking + misconduct
MTL PEN – 10:11 – Harvey, holding
TOR PEN – 17:10 – Barilko, tripping

TOR – Rollins (W, 18-19)
MTL – McNeil (L, 22-25)

TORGoaltenders: Al Rollins. Defence: Bill Barilko, Fern Flaman, Bill Juzda, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: Max Bentley, Cal Gardner, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Danny Lewicki, Fleming MacKell, Howie Meeker, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ray Timgren, Harry Watson.
MTLGoaltenders: Gerry McNeil. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Hal Laycoe, Bud MacPherson. Forwards: Floyd Curry, Norm Dussault, Vern Kaiser, Elmer Lach, Calum MacKay, Paul Masnick, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Billy Reay, Claude Robert.

TOR – 26-11-10 (.660)
MTL – 17-22-10 (.449)