Game 391 – Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0

Game 391
Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0
Wednesday, December 31, 1958
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

Ed Chadwick, who only resumed regular employment as a goalkeeper one week ago, collected his third shutout of the National Hockey League season in the Gardens last night, as the Maple Leafs blanked the Montréal Canadiens 2-0.

Billy Harris scored his 12th goal of the year in the first period, and that was all the Leafs required, as the Canadiens repeatedly ran aground on a rocky Toronto defence. Gerry Ehman, the player the Leafs acquired from the Hershey Bears only last week, scored their second goal in the third period.

A crowd of 13,169 saw the Leafs in one of their better skating and passing efforts of the season. The Canadiens were checked thoroughly and given little opportunity to execute their powerful offensive.

This was the Canadiens’ second consecutive loss, after going 13 consecutive games without losing. And it was also their first defeat by the Leafs this season. It was only the second time this year that the Canadiens have been blanked.

For Chadwick, who replaced Johnny Bower in the Leafs’ goal on Christmas night in Detroit, it was his second shutout in four games. He blanked the Red Wings in Detroit by an identical score. He has allowed six goals in the four games he has played.

A few other lineup changes also gave the Leafs a poise and balance that has been missing in recent games. Allan Stanley and Tim Horton were reunited on the Leafs’ defence, and they gave Chadwick outstanding support. The other defence pair of Carl Brewer and Bobby Baun were almost as effective.

Up front, Frank Mahovlich caused the Canadiens great anxiety with his express-like rushes. Bobby Pulford connected repeatedly with stiff body checks. With Ron Stewart, he also excelled in killing off penalties. The Canadiens have the greatest power play in hockey, but they were foiled on three occasions by the Leafs’ close checking.

Jacques Plante, the Canadiens’ roving goaltender, stayed close in his quarters throughout most of this game. He made one or two excursions to pilfer stray pucks. He didn’t get much of an opportunity to roam in the third period, so persistently did the Leafs keep punching pucks at him.

It was a faux pas by Montréal defenceman Guy Talbot that gave the Leafs the opportunity for their first goal late in the opening period. The Canadiens were ganging in the Leafs zone when Talbot, trying to send a pass back to the point, slid the puck all the way back to centre ice. There Mahovlich picked it up, wheeled and barged into the Montréal zone. He lured defenceman Tom Johnson to one side, passed to Harris, who sped in, and rifled a shot in the left hand side.

The teams battled through a goalless second period, although Stewart hit a goal post after seemingly beating Plante. Another time, Plante made a great stop with his right skate to thwart a hard shot from Ehman.

Ehman got his goal at 5:45 of the third period. Again, Mahovlich carried the puck into the Montréal zone. Horton slapped a vicious shot which hit Plante’s pads, and the puck rolled a few feet in front of the net. Plante fell to the ice and Ehman, although off balance, pushed the puck past him into the net.

NOTES: Baun was hurt in the second period when he was crashed into the end boards by Junior Langlois, the Montréal defenceman. Baun was dazed for several seconds, but he skated to the bench by himself. He didn’t miss his regular turn…The Leafs didn’t play Barry Cullen, Dave Creighton, Marc Réaume or Noel Price…Ehman’s goal was his second in four games with the Leafs. He scored in Detroit last week…Bernie Geoffrion, the league’s leading point-getter, lost three points to the Rangers’ Andy Bathgate, who scored a goal and assisted on two others in New York. But Geoffrion still leads Bathgate by four points.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 1, 1959

1st Period

MTL PEN – 03:05 – Johnson, hooking
TOR PEN – 10:45 – Olmstead, interference
TOR PEN – 11:41 – Brewer, charging
TOR GOAL – 18:28 – Harris (Mahovlich)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 07:31 – Langlois, cross checking
TOR PEN – 14:30 – Ehman, roughing
MTL PEN – 14:30 – McDonald, roughing

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 05:45 – Ehman (Horton, Mahovlich)
MTL PEN – 08:08 – Moore, elbowing
TOR PEN – 08:08 – Pulford, roughing
MTL PEN – 11:32 – Talbot, holding

TOR – Chadwick (W + SO, 27-27)
MTL – Plante (L, 28-30)

TOR – 8+11+11 = 30
MTL – 12+7+8 = 27

TORGoaltenders: Ed Chadwick. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dave Creighton, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Gerry Ehman, Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.
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).

TOR – 10-17-8 (.400)
MTL – 21-9-5 (.671)