Game 432 – Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1

Game 432
Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 1
Thursday, November 30, 1961
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, for the second night in a row, preserved the status quo in the National Hockey League when they fought to a 1-1 tie.

Twenty four hours earlier in Toronto, the same teams staggered to a 2-2 standoff. They are tied for first place, three points ahead of the New York Rangers.

Bernie Geoffrion, with his 10th goal of the season, gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead in the third period here tonight. It lasted for only 30 seconds, when Bert Olmstead tied it for the Leafs.

For the rest of the game, many of the league’s more accomplished shooters were frustrated, defied and infuriated by the excellent goaltending of Jacques Plante of the Canadiens and Johnny Bower of the Leafs.

The 1-1 score might suggest that it was a sedate, dignified game with the emphasis on close checking, but that wasn’t the case. The absurd, sometimes unbelievable, acrobatics of Plante and Bower kept the score as low as it was.

The Leafs, after a cautious first period, outplayed the Canadiens by a ridiculous margin in the second period, to the groans of 14,568, but Plante anticipated all their moves. Scoring opportunities were fairly evenly divided the rest of the way.

The Leafs, throughout this two game series, never had a lead at any time, but they always had enough in reserve to overcome advantages built by the Canadiens.

Dave Keon, the Leafs’ fast skating centre, was injured late in the third period, and he retired for the remainder of the game. It was indicated at first that he might have a pulled groin muscle. Ron Stewart suffered a similar injury in Toronto last night, and he may be out for a month.

Canadiens defenceman Tom Johnson, who went to hospital with an eye injury after the Toronto game, was replaced by Jean Gauthier in tonight’s game, but he didn’t get off the bench.

Geoffrion scored the game’s first goal at 11:29 of the third period, after Ralph Backstrom had dashed down the right side to set up the play. Backstrom pulled away from Olmstead and streaked around Allan Stanley to bounce a shot off Bower’s pads. Bower went five feet out of his net to retrieve the rebound, but Geoffrion pulled the puck out of his reach and flipped it in the vacant net.

Lest they be suspected of dalliance in that goal, Stanley and Olmstead required only 30 seconds to make amends. Olmstead took Stanley’s pass near centre, stumbled several feet ahead, and from a few feet inside the Montréal blueline, he fired a high shot to the top left corner of the Canadiens net. Plante raised his right arm to deflect the puck, but it soared past. It was the fourth goal of the season for Olmstead.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 1, 1961

1st Period

TOR PEN – 04:53 – Shack, holding
MTL PEN – 11:05 – Fontinato, elbowing
TOR PEN – 15:13 – Baun, holding
MTL PEN – 19:56 – Moore, cross checking

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 05:01 – Goyette, tripping

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 06:26 – Brewer, tripping
MTL GOAL – 11:29 – Geoffrion (Backstrom, Talbot)
TOR GOAL – 11:59 – Olmstead (Stanley)
TOR PEN – 15:36 – Horton, holding

MTL – Plante (T, 32-33)
TOR – Bower (T, 31-32)

MTL – 17+4+11 = 32
TOR – 8+15+10 = 33

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Lou Fontinato, Al MacNeil, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Marcel Bonin, Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Al Arbour, Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Dick Duff, Billy Harris, Dave Keon, John MacMillan, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Eddie Shack.

MTL – 11-5-7 (.630)
TOR – 13-6-3 (.659)