Game 399 – Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3

Game 399
Maple Leafs 6, Canadiens 3
Thursday, March 19, 1959
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Toronto Maple Leafs, with their longest winning streak of the National Hockey League season, moved one point away from fourth place here tonight by defeating the Montréal Canadiens 6-3.

It was the third win in a row for the scrappy Leafs, the first time this season they have compiled such a record. Prior to tonight, the best they had been able to do was win two in a row.

So, with two games remaining, they are one point behind the distraught New York Rangers, who have lost five in a row. The Leafs conclude the schedule this weekend with a Saturday game in the Gardens against the Chicago Black Hawks, and in Detroit Sunday against the Red Wings.

Dick Duff scored two goals for the Leafs to raise his season’s total to 28, his highest mark in his four years in the league. He requires two more goals to hit the 100 mark. Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Gerry Ehman and George Armstrong were the other Leafs scorers.

For the Canadiens, Phil Goyette, Ab McDonald and Marcel Bonin did the scoring. Jean Béliveau and Dickie Moore, who have been collecting goals by the handful in recent games, were blanked in this one, although Moore, the league’s leading point-getter, picked up an assist on Bonin’s goal.

A crowd of 14,657 saw a methodical, close-checking game. It could scarcely be termed exciting, but the Leafs performed their chores so carefully that the Canadiens never had much opportunity to get their free-wheeling game into execution.

Jacques Plante, the Canadiens’ roaming goalkeeper, sat out this game because, it was explained, he had a painful attack of boils on his face. He was replaced by Claude Pronovost, who normally plays for the Montréal Royals of the Québec Hockey League.

Pronovost, obviously nervous and erratic, was replaced after two periods by Claude Cyr, goalkeeper for the Ottawa-Hull Canadiens. The Leafs scored five of their goals on Pronovost, and they fired one past Cyr in the third period.

Whether Plante or any other goalkeeper would have made any difference is doubtful. The Leafs came out of the first period with a 2-1 lead, and they scored two, both on long shots, in the first five minutes of the second period. Pronovost looked bewildered on both shots, but he had no opportunity to block the other shots that beat him.

Pronovost is the same goalkeeper who was recruited by the Boston Bruins here a couple of seasons back. In that particular game, he blanked the Canadiens.

Goyette gave the Canadiens a brief lead in the first period, rapping Bob Turner’s rebound past Johnny Bower, who played an extremely alert game in the Leafs net.

Duff tied the score in little more than a minute, with a similar type of goal. He lobbed Bobby Baun’s rebound past Pronovost. Olmstead made it 2-1 for the Leafs, driving in his own rebound.

The Leafs were shorthanded when Pulford scored his 22nd of the season early in the second period, a 25-footer that Pronovost partially blocked with his glove. But the puck dropped between his pads and squirmed into the net.

Ehman picked up a drop pass from Billy Harris about two minutes later and rifled a 40-footer to the lower right hand corner, with Pronovost flailing on the other post.

The Canadiens came back with their most ambitious spurt of the game, and it produced two goals. McDonald pelted in a screen shot, and Bonin rammed one past Bower from about 10 feet out. But Duff discouraged their rally with his second goal, a golf shot from about 12 feet out, after Pronovost had kicked out a point drive from Carl Brewer.

Armstrong scored the only goal of the third period, tipping in Baun’s drive from the right point. Baun, who played one of his better games, collected three assists in this game.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 20, 1959

1st Period

MTL PEN – 01:33 – Béliveau, interference
MTL PEN – 08:04 – Béliveau, roughing
TOR PEN – 08:04 – Horton, roughing
TOR PEN – 08:45 – Brewer, holding
MTL GOAL – 12:04 – Goyette (Turner)
TOR GOAL – 13:50 – Duff (Baun, Armstrong)
TOR GOAL – 17:30 – Olmstead

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 02:47 – Baun, holding
TOR SH GOAL – 03:25 – Pulford (Stewart, Horton)
TOR GOAL – 05:07 – Ehman (Harris, Baun)
MTL GOAL – 07:21 – McDonald (Richard, Backstrom)
MTL GOAL 08:56 – Bonin (Moore, Johnson)
TOR GOAL – 13:27 – Duff (Regan, Brewer)

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 00:50 – Bonin, roughing
TOR PEN – 00:50 – Olmstead, roughing
TOR GOAL – 09:15 – Armstrong (Baun, Regan)
MTL PEN – 11:25 – Johnson, high sticking

TOR – Bower (W, 30-33)
MTL – C. Pronovost (L, 16-21), Cyr (6-7)

TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Marc Réaume, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Brian Cullen, Dick Duff, Gerry Ehman, Billy Harris, Frank Mahovlich, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Larry Regan, Ron Stewart.
MTLGoaltenders: Claude Cyr, Claude Pronovost. Defence: Ian Cushenan, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot, Bob Turner. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau, Marcel Bonin, Phil Goyette, Don Marshall, Ab McDonald, Dickie Moore, André Pronovost, Claude Provost, Henri Richard.

TOR – 25-32-11 (.449)
MTL – 38-17-13 (.654)