Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1
Wednesday, November 26, 1969
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
Ralph Backstrom’s 200th goal of his National Hockey League career completed the formalities of the Montréal Canadiens’ 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, but the real damage had been inflicted earlier.
Backstrom scored with 55 seconds left in the game.
But Serge Savard’s shot from the blueline at 4:38 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie and the Leafs’ spirit. The shot changed direction when it deflected off Dave Keon’s stick as the Leaf centre attempted to block it and the new direction carried the puck directly past goaltender Bruce Gamble.
“We came out flat in the third period,” was Leaf coach John McLellan’s assessment. “And then there was the 2-1 goal – and that was it.
“The penalty to Ullman for the last five or six minutes didn’t help any either.”
Centre Norm Ullman was given a 10 minute misconduct penalty at 13:35 when he spoke in an indelicate manner to referee John Ashley after receiving a minor for holding.
Ullman was involved with defenceman Serge Savard at the time Savard, rather indelicate himself in his treatment of Ullman, was not penalized.
The Ullman line, with wingers Paul Henderson and Ron Ellis, had been the most effective unit for Toronto.
Henderson’s sixth goal of the season tied the score in the first period soon after Bobby Rousseau gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead.
Both Rousseau’s and Henderson’s goals came on fast breaks and long pauses. Gamble missed Rousseau’s long shot.
“My lines are playing pretty well the way they are,” said Canadien coach Claude Ruel. “But there’s still plenty of room for Bobby. I can play him anywhere.”
Henderson missed two previous breaks on goaltender Lorne Worsley. Once he shot to Worsley’s short side. Next he missed on the wide side.
Worsley took care of the 27 other shots the Leafs did muster. Gamble stopped 35 of 38 The shots were close until the third period when the Canadiens dominated 15-7.
Backstrom’s goal came when the Leafs were pressing in an effort to tie the score. Serge Savard passed to Backstrom from centre ice after Christian Bordeleau initiated the play. Brian Glennie was the victimized defenceman.
“We had control of the puck and I guess they punched down one of our passes. Backstrom just got past me. I must have had my eyes closed.”
Glennie was miserable. He was limping – the result of a shot he stopped with the side of his foot in the first period. He was also sore – the result of a check he made on Backstrom earlier in the period. Backstrom had cushioned the check by holding his stick out, like a bumper, as Glennie hit him.
Afterward, Backstrom talked about the 200th goal. The puck, he said, would be added to his collection.
The Leafs had only four defencemen in uniform for the game. Coach McLellan explained that he wanted plenty of extra forwards because Henderson and Floyd Smith were both considered in questionable condition.
Henderson played the entire game. Smith got no ice time and was thus unable to test his injured knee.
Henderson will not practice with the Leafs this morning. The Leafs hope his torn groin muscle will heal itself with rest and ultrasonic treatments.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, November 27, 1969
TOR PEN – 07:26 – Glennie, tripping
MTL GOAL – 11:31 – Rousseau (Cournoyer)
TOR PEN – 11:53 – Horton, tripping
TOR PEN – 13:02 – Dorey, interference
MTL PEN – 13:02 – Richard, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 15:22 – Henderson (Ellis, Horton)
MTL PEN – 18:39 – Béliveau, hooking
MTL PEN – 20:00 – Rousseau, hooking
MTL PEN – 14:12 – Harper, interference
TOR PEN – 18:46 – Quinn, holding
MTL PEN – 19:21 – Duff, hooking
MTL GOAL – 04:38 – Savard (Richard)
TOR PEN – 12:33 – Glennie, hooking
MTL PEN – 12:52 – Béliveau, holding
TOR PEN – 13:35 – Ullman, holding + misconduct
MTL PEN – 14:16 – Savard, holding
MTL GOAL – 19:05 – Backstrom (Bordeleau, Savard)
MTL – Worsley (W, 27-28)
TOR – Gamble (L, 35-38)
SHOTS ON GOAL
MTL – 14+9+15 = 38
TOR – 11+10+7 = 28
MTL – Goaltenders: Rogatien Vachon, Gump Worsley. Defence: Terry Harper, Ted Harris, Jacques Laperrière, Serge Savard. Forwards: Ralph Backstrom, Jean Béliveau (C), Christian Bordeleau, Yvan Cournoyer, Dick Duff, Jacques Lemaire, Claude Provost, Mickey Redmond, Henri Richard, Bobby Rousseau.
TOR – Goaltenders: Marv Edwards, Bruce Gamble. Defence: Jim Dorey, Brian Glennie, Tim Horton, Jim McKenny, Pat Quinn. Forwards: Terry Clancy, Ron Ellis, Paul Henderson, Dave Keon (C), Murray Oliver, Bob Pulford, Brit Selby, Norm Ullman, Mike Walton.
⭐ Serge Savard (MTL)
⭐⭐ Paul Henderson (TOR)
⭐⭐⭐ Gump Worsley (MTL)