Game 335 – Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 0

Game 335
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 0
Thursday, December 9, 1954
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens regained their four point lead atop the National Hockey League here tonight by defeating the second place Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0. The loss halted a six game undefeated streak by the Leafs.

Dickie Moore, who was injured in Toronto Wednesday night, and Floyd Curry scored the Montréal goals.

Much of the savour of the victory was lost to the 14,012 fans when “Rocket” Richard, their number one hero, failed to score. “The Rocket” had numerous scoring opportunities, but Leaf Harry Lumley showed uncanny skill in frustrating the Canadian ace.

It was reported before the game that Moore had suffered a dislocated shoulder, but to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of his injury were grossly exaggerated. If he was in pain from his injury, it wasn’t evident from his play on the ice.

Moore circled Leaf defenceman Jim Morrison for his goal, directing the puck solely with stick in his left hand. He picked the open side of the net from 10 feet out. Lumley had no chance to save.

The Leafs defence appeared momentarily befuddled when Curry scooted in at 13:35 of the second period to ram a short shot past Lumley.

The Canadiens lost centreman Jackie LeClair in the close-checking game. LeClair and Leaf Larry Cahan tumbled together in the first period, and LeClair was led from the ice with blood streaming from his throat.

It was reported afterwards that LeClair had severed a couple of arteries in his throat. The wound was evidently inflicted by Cahan’s skate. LeClair will be in the hospital for at least two weeks.

The best hockey of the game was played in the first period, which opened in bruising style but later cooled out. Lumley made great saves on Orv Tessler and “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, and Richard blazed one inches wide of the post.

Habs goalie Charlie Hodge, who earned his first shutout of the season, robbed Parker MacDonald of a sure goal when he took a hard shot on his pads. Tod Sloan blew a great opportunity when he broke in on Hodge alone, but fired the puck wide of the net.

The Leafs spent a great deal of time in the Montréal end throughout the game without causing the Habs much consternation. The Canadiens, fortified by the robust defence of Doug Harvey, Butch Bouchard, Dollard Saint-Laurent and Tom Johnson, gave Hodge great protection.

Harvey was a one-man assault corps for the Canadiens, especially when they were shorthanded. Sometimes he personally took two Leafs out of the play.

Jean Marc Béliveau didn’t figure in the scoring, but he was the Canadiens’ best on the attack. Richard, still seeking the 399th and 400th goals of his career, made several dangerous bursts, but he couldn’t solve Lumley.

Rudy Migay, along with Lumley, were the pick of the Leafs. The majority of the Leaf players appeared a trifle weary after their rough bout with Canadiens the night before.

NOTES: The Leafs lost George Armstrong in the first period after he was crashed into the end boards by defenceman Doug Harvey. Armstrong gashed his right ankle for four stitches. He retired for the remainder of the game…The Canadiens didn’t dress defenceman Bud MacPherson. He suffered a knee injury in Wednesday’s game in Toronto…Jacques Plante, the Canadiens goalie who fractured his cheekbone several weeks ago, may return to the lineup in a few days. He played in an exhibition game with the Montréal Royals Wednesday night…The Canadiens have now interrupted the Leafs’ two longest winning streaks of the season. Several weeks ago, the Leafs dropped a 5-4 decision here after going unbeaten through nine games. Up until last night, the Leafs had five wins and a tie in their last six games.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 10, 1954

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 06:57 – Moore (Johnson)
TOR PEN – 07:08 – Sloan, high sticking
MTL PEN – 07:08 – Moore, high sticking
TOR PEN – 08:20 – Thomson, tripping
TOR PEN – 09:52 – Horton, tripping
MTL PEN – 12:12 – Litzenberger, holding
MTL PEN – 17:01 – Mazur, interference
TOR PEN – 19:19 – MacDonald, tripping

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 13:36 – Curry (Johnson, Bouchard)
TOR PEN – 14:54 – Kennedy, roughing
MTL PEN – 14:54 – Mosdell, hooking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 09:24 – Bouchard, tripping
TOR PEN – 18:13 – Nesterenko, roughing
MTL PEN – 18:13 – Richard, roughing

MTL – Hodge (W + SO, 26-26)
TOR – Lumley (L, 30-32)

MTL – 11+14+7 = 32
TOR – 9+7+10 = 26

MTLGoaltenders: Charlie Hodge. Defence: Butch Bouchard (C), Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Eddie Mazur, Dollard Saint-Laurent. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, Floyd Curry, Bernie Geoffrion, Jack LeClair, Ed Litzenberger, Dickie Moore, Kenny Mosdell, Bert Olmstead, Maurice Richard, Orval Tessier.
TORGoaltenders: Harry Lumley. Defence: Hugh Bolton, Larry Cahan, Tim Horton, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Thomson. Forwards: George Armstrong, Ted Kennedy (C), Joe Klukay, Parker MacDonald, Willie Marshall, Rudy Migay, Eric Nesterenko, Tod Sloan, Sid Smith, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 17-8-4 (.655)
TOR – 14-7-6 (.630)