Game 547 – Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 0

Game 547
Canadiens 1, Maple Leafs 0
Wednesday, January 19, 1972
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec


The Toronto Maple Leafs last night came within two seconds of a goalless tie with the Montréal Canadiens, within two seconds of a technically near-perfect game, within two seconds of a moment of deserved satisfaction for goaltender Bernie Parent.

Then at 19:58 of the third period, Pete Mahovlich beat Leaf defenceman Brad Selwood and Parent. The Canadiens won the National Hockey League game 1-0, moving their Montréal Forum record to 18 wins in 21 games. They have been tied three times here, but have never lost.

The glory went to Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden, who earned his fourth shutout of the season, playing his first game since he injured his back against the Leafs here December 22.

Some Leafs contemplated that Dryden might be slightly off form, having missed 12 games and only practiced twice with the Canadiens before returning to the nets.

But he was exceptional, moving with agility, whether kicking out shots such as Ron Ellis’ in the first period or diving to smother the puck. A week and a half ago, he was in hospital in traction. He flinched visibly once after stabbing his skate in front of the Ellis shot, but his night’s work indicated no pain.

Unlike the Leafs’ previous visit when Dryden stopped two breakaways by Dave Keon, he was forced to meet only one visitor face to face. A move by Keon set his right wing, Bill MacMillan, free 25 feet from Dryden. MacMillan tried switching from backhand to forehand and didn’t get a dangerous shot away, probably because the goaltender came out and prevented him from securing control of the puck.

So, for the first time in almost a month, Dryden heard the applause of more than 17,000 Forum customers, which rings delightful in the ear when delivered in praise.

Consider though Parent, who played as well as Dryden until Mahovlich’s shot bounced off his pad from 15 feet.

“That cost me $250,” said Parent, indicating the size of his bonus for a shutout. He had one shutout this season, October 27 when the Leafs and Vancouver Canucks tied 0-0.

“More important, this was a game we shouldn’t have lost. It cost us a point.”

What happened was this: A faceoff in the Leaf zone, to Parent’s right, pitted Jim Harrison against Henri Richard. The immediate result of the faceoff was inconclusive, neither centre getting the draw clearly, but the puck slid toward the corner and Richard pursued.

“I saw a Canadien in front,” Richard explained. “I didn’t know who it was, but I backhanded a pass to him.”

The Canadien was large Peter Mahovlich, and he found himself facing Leaf defenceman Selwood. Both players slapped at the puck, Selwood trying to clear, and on his second swipe Mahovlich scored. This happened quickly, before Parent could move in reaction.

“I never thought we could beat Parent tonight,” said Canadien coach Scotty Bowman. “It’s unbelievable, because we beat him with two seconds and it’s off a faceoff we didn’t win. Harrison didn’t miss a faceoff all night and he didn’t miss that one.”

At one point the visiting team had only three defencemen. Mike Pelyk, returning after missing three games with torn cartilage in his right knee, limped to the dressing room in the eighth minute of play after checking Réjean Houle. Seconds later, a fight broke out between Bob Baun and and the Canadiens’ Pierre Bouchard, and Rick Ley took a game misconduct and the $100 fine the penalty carries by intervening. Ley joined Pelyk in the dressing room. Baun skated to the penalty box for his fighting major, and the Leafs were left with Selwood, Jim McKenny and Brian Glennie.

McLellan refused to criticize Ley for taking the game misconduct. He joined the so-called fight after Bouchard had knocked Baun to the ice with a combination of forearm, elbow and stick. Bouchard appeared to be making up his mind whether to jump on Baun or have him stuffed as a decoration in his restaurant when Ley interrupted.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, January 20, 1972

1st Period
TOR PEN – 07:57 – Baun, fighting major
MTL PEN – 07:57 – Bouchard, fighting major
TOR PEN – 07:57 – Ley, game misconduct

2nd Period
TOR PEN – 00:54 – Monahan, hooking
MTL PEN – 03:36 – Richard, hooking
MTL PEN – 06:30 – Bouchard, holding
MTL PEN – 07:39 – Harper, high sticking
TOR PEN – 08:35 – Henderson, tripping
MTL PEN – 10:52 – Lapointe, charging

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 14:44 – Larose, tripping
MTL GOAL – 19:58 – P. Mahovlich (Richard)

MTL – Dryden (W + SO, 32-32)
TOR – Parent (L, 26-27)

MTL – 13+6+8 = 27
TOR – 11+10+11 = 32

MTLGoaltenders: Ken Dryden, Phil Myre. Defence: Pierre Bouchard, Terry Harper, Jacques Laperrière, Guy Lapointe, Jim Roberts, J.C. Tremblay. Forwards: Réjean Houle, Guy Lafleur, Claude Larose, Jacques Lemaire, Frank Mahovlich, Peter Mahovlich, Henri Richard (C), Marc Tardif.
TORGoaltenders: Bernie Parent, Jacques Plante. Defence: Bobby Baun, Brian Glennie, Rick Ley, Jim McKenny, Mike Pelyk, Brad Selwood. Forwards: Denis Dupéré, Ron Ellis, Jim Harrison, Paul Henderson, Dave Keon (C), Billy MacMillan, Don Marshall, Garry Monahan, Darryl Sittler, Guy Trottier, Norm Ullman.

MTL – 26-11-7 (.670)
TOR – 20-15-10 (.556)