Game 436 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2

Game 436
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 2
Thursday, February 1, 1962
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

The Montréal Canadiens, who gave the impression that they could summon more power if necessary, defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 in a brisk National Hockey League game here tonight.

A crowd of 15,266, the largest of the season in the Forum, saw the Canadiens score two goals in the first period and finish with another two goal burst in the final 20 minutes.

The Leafs, who had trouble matching the swift skating strides of the Canadiens, scored their two goals in the second period within 18 seconds. The Canadiens were leading 3-0 at the time, and it looked like the beginning of a typical Leafs comeback. Except that the Canadiens don’t subscribe to that type of nonsense, at least not in their own rink.

Jacques Plante, the league’s leading goalkeeper from a goals against standpoint, played the entire game in the Montréal net, despite earlier reports that he might be hobbled by a painful ankle injury. The Canadiens gave Plante such excellent protection that he could have played with compound fractures in each ankle.

Leafs goalkeeper Johnny Bower, who also had a few unlisted aches and pains, had his stitch total increased in the third period, when he was injured in a collision near his goal. The game was delayed while he received six stitches near his left ear. It was suspected that the wound was caused by the skate of Ralph Backstrom of the Canadiens, who was unable to apply brakes in time.

Gilles Tremblay, Jean Béliveau, Don Marshall, Bernie Geoffrion and Henri Richard scored for the Canadiens. Frank Mahovlich and Dave Keon, who have been big producers for the Leafs all season, scored their goals.

The Canadiens, in extending their undefeated streak to 11 games (nine wins, two ties), improved their lead on the second place Leafs to six points.

The Leafs, facing an acute injury problem, were without Red Kelly, Dick Duff, Ed Shack and Bobby Baun. Kelly did get on the ice for a few seconds in the third period but, before he could subject his injured left shoulder to a legitimate test, he was recalled to the Leafs bench because of a Toronto penalty.

Gilles Tremblay, a player whom Montréal coach Toe Blake classifies next to Plante in overall effectiveness, scored the first goal of the game early in the first period while each team had a player in the penalty box. With his back to the Toronto net, he suddenly lunged and drove a quick shot past the surprised Bower.

Béliveau made it 2-0 late in the period. He broke away from a vigorous Leafs assault on Plante, skated in on the Toronto goal with his usual aplomb, feinted Bower out of position and lobbed the puck in the net. He seemed to have trouble stifling a yawn as he skated away.

Marshall, a part time employee of the Canadiens, scored their third goal in the second period. He scooped in a backhander from about 10 feet out.

The Leafs, who had the energy if not the poise, suddenly blitzed back into the game later in the period with their two quick goals. Mahovlich, who gave Montréal fans a glimpse of his rushing ability, dodged around defenceman Tom Johnson, and hammered a shot that appeared to beat Plante on the short side.

Keon scored his 20th goal, the same number he compiled in 70 games last season. 18 seconds later, Leafs defenceman Tim Horton shot from the point, and Keon deflected the puck past Plante.

Geoffrion scored his goal in the third period, and the Canadiens gave him a moist reception. He merely shoved the puck in an open net, while Bower was bleeding on the ice from his collision with Backstrom. But the Canadiens were overjoyed, because it was only the second goal Geoffrion has scored since December 17.

Richard scored hsi goal while the Leafs had two players in the penalty box. He pounced on Geoffrion’s rebound and flipped the puck past Bower.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 2, 1962

1st Period

TOR PEN – 01:42 – Horton, high sticking
MTL PEN – 01:42 – Fontinato, charging
MTL GOAL – 02:01 – G. Tremblay (Rousseau, Johnson)
MTL PEN – 05:12 – Hicke, holding
TOR PEN – 09:24 – Nevin, high sticking
MTL PEN – 10:06 – Geoffrion, high sticking
MTL PEN – 11:32 – Marshall, tripping
TOR PEN – 15:20 – Brewer, elbowing
MTL GOAL – 17:57 – Béliveau (Rousseau)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 03:07 – Marshall (Geoffrion, Backstrom)
TOR PEN – 03:38 – Stewart, tripping
MTL PEN – 09:03 – Talbot, interference
TOR PEN – 10:07 – Pulford, high sticking
MTL PEN – 10:07 – Fontinato, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 13:13 – Mahovlich
TOR GOAL – 13:31 – Keon (Horton, Stanley)
MTL PEN – 18:27 – Fontinato, elbowing

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 08:38 – Geoffrion (Backstrom, Marshall)
TOR PEN – 11:02 – Mahovlich, roughing
TOR PEN – 12:42 – Stewart, interference
MTL PP2 GOAL – 12:55 – Richard (Moore, Geoffrion)

MTL – Plante (W, 23-25)
TOR – Bower (L, 33-38)

MTL – 8+9+21 = 38
TOR – 10+8+7 = 25

MTLGoaltenders: Jacques Plante. Defence: Lou Fontinato, Tom Johnson, Al MacNeil, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Bernie Geoffrion, Phil Goyette, Bill Hicke, Don Marshall, Dickie Moore, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau, Gilles Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Al Arbour, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Billy Harris, Dave Keon, Les Kozak, Ed Litzenberger, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Bert Olmstead, Bob Pulford, Ron Stewart.

MTL – 28-9-11 (.698)
TOR – 27-14-7 (.635)