Game 390 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1

Game 390
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, December 18, 1958
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens lengthened their unbeaten streak to nine games here tonight when they jolted the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in a National Hockey League game that had only occasional flurries of sustained action.

For the first place Canadiens, again behaving like Stanley Cup champions, it was their seventh win in their last nine games. And they have tied the two others. It was the second consecutive loss for the Leafs.

A crowd of 13,492 stomped for action several time in the last two periods as the Canadiens, after building up a 3-0 lead with a whirlwind attack in the first two minutes, apparently decided there was no need to be excessively brutal in the Yuletide season.

The Leafs, led by the Cullen brothers, Brian and Barry, threatened several times in the second period, but most of the time they couldn’t finish off their plays around the Montréal net. And Montréal goalkeeper Jacques Plante made several fine saves.

Henri Richard, Bob Turner, Claude Provost and Dickie Moore scored for the Canadiens. Bert Olmstead scored the Leafs’ lone goal at 7:27 of the third period. And that was the only jolt the Canadiens, who had been relaxing until that time, needed to renew the offensive.

Defensive lapses, a major deficit of the Leafs all season, again started them on the way down early in the first period. The Canadiens, with their customary flourish, didn’t reject any favours.

The game was only about two minutes old when hummingbird Henri Richard, flying at his usual low altitude, whirled around Leaf defenceman Marc Réaume, and faked Leafs goalkeeper Johnny Bower out of position before flipping the puck in the net.

Less than a minute later Turner, an exceptional defenceman in this game and as impressive on the attack, picked up Henri Richard’s pass behind Réaume and fired a 10-footer into the open side.

Breakaways, which have haunted the Leafs in their last two games, set up the Canadiens’ third goal. Provost poked the puck away from Leaf defenceman Allan Stanley at the Montréal blue line and sped all the way down the ice. Bower got a piece of his shot, but the puck spun into the net. This was the third breakaway goal scored on the Leafs in their last two games.

Olmstead scored the Leafs’ goal in the third period, a 35-foot shot from left wing. Defenceman Tim Horton sent him on his way with a long pass. Olmstead’s shot caught the far side of the net.

Moore restored the Canadiens’ three goal margin at 15:09, pushing his own rebound behind Bower after the Leafs goalie had sprawled a few feet outside his crease making the original save.

NOTES: Jean Béliveau, who has been out two weeks with an injured hand, was back with the Canadiens in this game. He played on a line with Marcel Bonin and Claude Provost…Willie Marshall, called up from Rochester, made several appearances for the Leafs.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 19, 1958

1st Period

MTL GOAL – 02:14 – H. Richard (Harvey, Turner)
MTL GOAL – 03:07 – Turner (H. Richard, M. Richard)

TOR PEN – 03:27 – Horton, hooking
MTL GOAL – 13:10 – Provost

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 01:13 – Johnson, holding
MTL PEN – 10:03 – Talbot, charging

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 05:20 – Provost, tripping
TOR GOAL – 07:27 – Olmstead (Horton)
MTL GOAL – 15:09 – Moore (M. Richard, H. Richard)
TOR PEN – 15:41 – Olmstead, tripping
TOR PEN – 19:30 – Brewer, charging

MTL – Plante (W, 25-26)
TOR – Bower (L, 28-32)

MTL – 18+3+11 = 32
TOR – 9+7+10 = 26

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Albert Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Don Marshall, Ab McDonald, Dickie Moore, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard (C).
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Noel Price, Marc Réaume, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dave Creighton, Barry Cullen, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 17-7-5 (.672)
TOR – 8-15-6 (.379)