Preseason Game 07 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 3

Preseason Game 07
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 3
Tuesday, September 28, 1971
Halifax Forum, Halifax, NS

The Montréal Canadiens ran their unbeaten streak to five games in National Hockey League preseason play last night, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3.

It was the first loss for the Leafs in six exhibition games.

A crowd of 8,000 turned out to see the Leafs rally to tie the score three times before the Canadiens gained their margin of victory at the expense of rookie goalie Murray McLachlan late in the second period.

Shorthanded through the absence of regulars Mike Pelyk, Rick Ley, Norm Ullman and Bill MacMillan, Toronto was further hampered when captain Dave Keon limped off the ice in the second period. Keon missed an earlier exhibition with a pulled groin muscle.

The Canadiens were also without a number of regulars, including defenceman J.C. Tremblay, out with a shoulder injury; Guy Lapointe, who has a throat infection; and Yvan Cournoyer and Henri Richard, both absent with groin injuries.

Coaches Johnny McLellan of the Leafs and Scotty Bowman of Montréal made extensive use of their rookies in a tough, hard hitting encounter.

Peter Mahovlich, with the first of two goals, gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead after only 56 seconds of the first period.

His powerplay goal gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead after Ron Ellis knocked in his own rebound to pull the Leafs even for the first time.

Paul Henderson converted Keon’s pass to make it 2-2 before the Canadiens went ahead for the third time on Chuck Lefley’s goal.

Keon brought the Leafs even again and McLellan brought in McLachlan to replace veteran Jacques Plante midway in the second period.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, September 29, 1971