Game 392 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 0

Game 392
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 0
Thursday, January 8, 1959
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Goalkeeper Jacques Plante collected his sixth shutout of the National Hockey League season here tonight, as the Montréal Canadiens blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 in a neighbourly, peaceful tussle.

In a game that ran the complete gamut from ennui to inertia, with intermediate stops at humdrum and apathy, Plante didn’t have to be specially sharp to earn his shutout, but he pulled off a few smart saves.

Maurice Richard, defenceman Bob Turner and André Pronovost scored the Montréal goals. Richard’s goal was scored on a Montréal power play, and Turner, one of the league’s more improved players, scored his in the second period while his team was shorthanded.

A crowd of 13,825 saw the Canadiens maintain their 10 point lead on the Chicago Black Hawks, who won in Boston. For the Leafs, still in last place, the loss nipped a two game winning streak.

The Leafs had centre Larry Regan in their lineup for this game, his first since the Leafs purchased him from Boston earlier this week for the waiver price of $15,000. He played on a line with George Armstrong and Dick Duff.

Regan played as well as most of the other Leafs, but he had the misfortune to set up Turner’s goal while the Leafs were making motions at a power play. Regan’s shot from the Montréal blue line hit Turner’s shin, bounced ahead, and Turner ripped away in the clear.

Leafs goalkeeper Johnny Bower, subbing for the ailing Ed Chadwick, played exceptionally well. The Canadiens pelted 35 shots at him, and Bower handled all but three of them flawlessly. He had no opportunity to stop the three that beat him.

Maurice Richard opened the scoring at 7:33 off the first period while the Leafs had two players in the penalty box, and the Canadiens one. Stationed in the circle to Bower’s left, he slammed Doug Harvey’s drive from the point into the far side of the Leafs net.

Maurice, who already has a cellar full of historic pucks, immediately retrieved this one, and historians were momentarily puzzled as to why. Then somebody remembered that it was his 525th goal. If you wish to count playoffs, he has scored 606. And, to complete the statistical picture, it was his 17th of the season.

Turner made it 2-0 in the second period, while Montréal defenceman Tom Johnson was serving a tripping penalty.

Pronovost wound up the scoring late in the period. Phil Goyette took the puck off Tim Horton behind the Leafs net, passed out and Pronovost slapped it in.

NOTES: The Canadiens were without their talented rookie, Ralph Backstrom. He is recovering from an injury…Jean Béliveau moved back into his original position between Bernie Geoffrion and Ab McDonald. Geoffrion, the league’s leading scorer, was blanked by the Leafs for the second game in a row…George Imlach, the Leafs’ manager-coach, indulged in numerous line changes. He even had defencemen Noel Price and Marc Réaume masquerading as left wingers.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 9, 1959

1st Period

TOR PEN – 05:32 – Pulford, slashing / holding double minor
MTL PEN – 05:32 – H. Richard, slashing
TOR PEN – 07:15 – Duff, hooking
MTL PP GOAL – 07:33 – M. Richard (Moore, Harvey)
MTL PEN – 09:29 – Moore, hooking
TOR PEN – 15:07 – Stewart, broken stick

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 04:58 – Johnson, tripping
MTL SH GOAL – 06:47 – Turner
MTL GOAL – 17:03 – Pronovost (Goyette)
TOR PEN – 19:58 – Baun, holding

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 13:23 – Armstrong, slashing

MTL – Plante (W + SO, 23-23)
TOR – Bower (L, 34-37)

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Albert Langlois, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Jean Béliveau, 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), Barry Cullen, Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Gerry Ehman, Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Larry Regan, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 23-9-7 (.679)
TOR – 12-19-8 (.410)