Playoff Game 53 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

Playoff Game 53
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Stanley Cup Semifinals, Game 6
Tuesday, April 13, 1965
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ three year possession of the Stanley Cup ended last night after the defending champions had given their finest playoff performance.

Claude Provost’s backhand swipe at 16:33 of overtime play sent the puck sailing past Johnny Bower to give the Montréal Canadiens a 4-3 victory.

Provost’s second goal of the playoffs moved the Canadiens into the final by a 4-2 margin in the best-of-seven semifinal round. Their opponent in the final will be the winner of Thursday night’s game between Chicago and Detroit.

The Leafs, who established three playoff records for quick scoring, packed their three goals in a 99 second span early in the first period. They then went 72 minutes and 44 seconds without another goal.

Gump Worsley, who wasn’t sharp in the early action, was the big difference. For the first 25 minutes the Leafs had a wide margin in play, but their aging legs started to falter early in the second.

When Rousseau’s tying goal at 6:27 of the third period forced overtime, it appeared to be only a matter of time until the Canadiens sped through for the winner.

That’s what happened, but not the way it was expected. The Leafs found some energy somewhere and stormed around the Montréal net in extra play.

Bower didn’t have to make a save until 10:38 when John Ferguson let fly with a backhander from a difficult angle.

Officially, the Leafs outshot the Canadiens 8-7 in overtime, but the statistician must have been counting shots when Bower moved 20 feet from his net to clear the puck.

Victory was dulled for the Canadiens in the loss of their sophomore defenceman Jacques Laperrière. He was carried off in a stretcher and taken to hospital with a broken left ankle in a routine mishap against the end boards.

Laperreire scored Montréal’s second goal at 9:20 of the second period on a blistering shot from the blueline that threaded its way through a mass of players milling in front of Bower. The goalie didn’t have a chance.

A crowd of 14,702, the largest of three Toronto playoff games, scented victory in the first few minutes after Dave Keon, Red Kelly and Ron Ellis scored. John Ferguson scored for the Canadiens after Kelly’s goal.

The four goals in 99 seconds was a Stanley Cup record for scoring by two teams. The last three goals, in 38 seconds, was a record for the three fastest.

Although Montréal’s power play was the major factor in their victory, accounting for their first three goals, it started out as a boomerang.

Keon and Kelly both scored while the Leafs were playing shorthanded. Bob Pulford, Bob Baun and Jean Béliveau were serving penalties when Keon scored. Baun was still off when Kelly scored.

The game was the most exciting of the series, mainly because the Leafs found their skating legs early enough to stay with the Canadiens move for move.

The Canadiens cut them down to size with a strong forechecking game and in the third period the Leafs couldn’t move the puck out of their own end for what seemed to be minutes on end. Eventually the pace proved too much for the Canadiens too and they suffered a letdown.

Keon’s goal resulted from a great personal effort after Tim Horton blocked a shot in the Toronto end and put play in the Montréal zone. Keon darted into the corner with Laperrière, kicked the puck loose and was covered by Laperrière and Provost when he somehow swung out in front and slid the puck past a surprised Worsley.

Allan Stanley put Kelly in the clear with a long breakaway pass and the veteran redhead stickhandled Worsley to one side and flipped the puck high into the net.

Ferguson’s backhander on the power play made it 2-1. 21 seconds later Ellis needed only 17 seconds to restore the two goal margin. Worsley had just made one of his finest saves from the luckless Frank Mahovlich, but Ellis got the rebound and pumped it home.

The peppery Rousseau, one of Montréal’s finest playoff performers, scored the tying goal on a typical Rousseau play. On a power play, while George Armstrong was off, the puck came to him about 25 feet out and to Bower’s left. His quick snapshot caught the low corner at the far side.

Referee John Ashley made the penalties come out even at 7-7 but he ruled leniently in a game that wasn’t far from brawl proportions at times. Pulford, Baun, Kent Douglas and Tim Horton for the Leafs and John Ferguson, Dave Balon and Dick Duff for the Canadiens were involved in these episodes.

Dave Keon, Pete Stemkowski and Bob Pulford all turned in outstanding performances.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, April 14, 1965

1st Period
MTL PEN – 00:57 – Béliveau, high sticking
TOR PEN – 00:57 – Pulford, high sticking
TOR PEN – 01:37 – Baun, charging
TOR SH GOAL – 02:10 – Keon (Horton)
TOR SH GOAL – 03:11 – Kelly (Stanley)
MTL PP GOAL – 03:32 – Ferguson (Backstrom, Harris)

TOR GOAL – 03:49 – Ellis (Mahovlich, Stemkowski)
MTL PEN – 04:18 – Harris, tripping
MTL PEN – 05:55 – Roberts, boarding
TOR PEN – 10:50 – Brewer, tripping

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 05:01 – Béliveau, holding
TOR PEN – 08:45 – Baun, interference
MTL PP GOAL – 09:20 – Laperrière (Rousseau, Richard)
MTL PEN – 13:56 – Béliveau, hooking
MTL PEN – 20:00 – Duff, roughing
TOR PEN – 20:00 – Douglas, roughing

3rd Period
TOR PEN – 05:50 – Armstrong, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 06:27 – Rousseau (Provost, Béliveau)
TOR PEN – 10:05 – Stewart, boarding
MTL PEN – 17:14 – Balon, slashing

MTL GOAL – 16:33 – Provost (Richard, Tremblay)

MTL – Worsley (W, 34-37)
TOR – Bower (L, 31-35)

MTL – 6+8+14+7 = 35
TOR – 10+11+8+8 = 37

MTLGoaltenders: Gump Worsley. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Jim Roberts, Jean-Guy Talbot, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Dave Balon, Jean Béliveau (C), Red Berenson, Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, John Ferguson, Claude Larose, Claude Provost, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau.
TORGoaltenders: Johnny Bower. Defence: Bobby Baun, Carl Brewer, Kent Douglas, Tim Horton, Red Kelly, Allan Stanley. Forwards: George Armstrong (C), Andy Bathgate, Ron Ellis, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Don McKenney, Dickie Moore, Bob Pulford, Pete Stemkowski, Ron Stewart.