Game 407 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1

Game 407
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, January 14, 1960
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens, although confronted by Johnny Bower’s outstanding goalkeeping, downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 in a loosely played National Hockey League game here tonight.

The Canadiens, who had the puck exclusively for almost the first two periods, should have won by a more commanding margin, but Bower exasperated them with numerous brilliant stops. The Canadiens outshot the Leafs 39-20.

A crowd of 14,729, largest of the season in Montréal, turned out to welcome Maurice Richard back in the Canadiens lineup. And the 38 year old right winger, playing for the first time in seven weeks, managed to collect one assist, an occasion that aroused a loud burst of applause. It was the 946th point of Richard’s 18 year NHL career, moving him back in front of Detroit’s Gordie Howe.

Marcel Bonin, Dickie Moore and Henri Richard were scorers for the Canadiens. Ron Stewart scored the Leafs’ only goal late in the second period.

This was the third successive loss for the Leafs, and for the biggest part of this game they were badly disorganized, their checking was weak and their shooting erratic. They improved in the third period, but Montréal’s defence took care of most of their rushes.

Bower seemed especially determined that Bernie Geoffrion, the Canadiens’ power shooting right winger, wouldn’t get a goal. Geoffrion had the Toronto goalie in his sights no less than eight times, from his favourite shooting range, but Bower blocked his shot each time.

Doug Harvey, the Canadiens’ all star defenceman, seemed to indicate the frustration of the entire Montréal team in the second period when he skated directly into the Toronto goal crease after a rush and rammed Bower.

The Canadiens were unable to score until early in the second period, when Bonin finally parked the puck behind Bower. Geoffrion started the play with a pass to Jean Béliveau in the Leafs zone. He pivoted and backhanded a pass to Bonin, who was parked at the right goalpost. Bonin merely steered the puck into the open net.

Moore made it 2-0 on a power play eight minutes later. Bower had kicked out three shots in quick succession, and he was flat on his back when Moore lifted the puck in the open net.

Stewart scored for the Leafs at 15:43, a backhander from about 30 feet out, after Jacques Plante had kicked out an earlier shot fired by Gerry James.

Henri Richard scored the only goal of the third period. Brother Maurice gave him a lateral pass in front of the Toronto net, but Henri fired wide from about 25 feet. But he took his own rebound off the backboards and rapped the puck in the near side as Bower scrambled for the post.

NOTES: Ken Girard, a right winger who has been working out with the Leafs for about a week, played briefly in this game. Girard, who has been out of hockey for more than a year, even appeared on the Leafs’ power play – on the right point…The only line of the Leafs that seemed capable of generating any offence was that of Bob Pulford, Stewart and James. And this was James’ first game in about two weeks. He has been sidelined by phlebitis…George Armstrong of the Leafs and André Pronovost of the Canadiens started fighting in the penalty box late in the third period. They had misconducts tagged on their original sentences for this belligerent ad-libbing.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 15, 1960

1st Period

TOR PEN – 07:01 – Stewart, hooking
TOR PEN – 09:43 – Mahovlich, tripping
MTL PEN – 12:33 – Provost, high sticking

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 02:04 – Bonin (Béliveau, Geoffrion)
TOR PEN – 09:48 – James, tripping
MTL PP GOAL – 10:25 – Moore (Bonin, Béliveau)
TOR GOAL – 15:43 – Stewart (Pulford, James)
MTL PEN – 17:22 – Harvey, interference
TOR PEN – 17:22 – Stanley, charging

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 09:32 – H. Richard (M. Richard, Moore)
TOR PEN – 16:08 – Armstrong, high sticking + misconduct
MTL PEN – 16:08 – Pronovost, holding + misconduct

MTL – Plante (W, 19-20)
TOR – Bower (L, 36-39)

MTL – 11+17+11 = 39
TOR – 5+7+8 = 20

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, Tim Horton, Marc Réaume, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Garry Edmundson, Gerry Ehman, Kenny Girard, Ted Hampson, Billy Harris, Gerry James, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford, Larry Regan, Ron Stewart, Johnny Wilson.

MTL – 25-8-7 (.713)
TOR – 19-16-6 (.537)