Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 2
Wednesday, February 12, 1975
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
“Black Aces” they have taken to calling themselves, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ roster of walking wounded, who shroud their equipment in black practice sweaters, and, with every game, their number grows.
It grew again last night, as the Leafs took a hard point in a 2-2 draw with the Montréal Canadiens, in a come-from-behind effort at Maple Leaf Gardens.
The point may have cost them the services of winger Ron Ellis and defenceman Claire Alexander, however. Ellis smashed backward into the board on his first shift of the game, injuring his back. He was already weakened by a day-long bout of the flu. Alexander suffered a charley horse in a collision with Guy Lafleur at centre ice.
Lafleur was later injured when he caught a stick wielded by Darryl Sittler on his left glove and suffered a possible broken finger.
“No kidding, they really had to work for that one,” Leafs coach Red Kelly said afterward.
“We finished that game with a makeshift line and a pretty makeshift team.”
Eddie Shack, who has been used sparingly by Kelly this year, had regular action in Ellis’ spot beside Sittler and Dave Williams. By the end of the game, George Ferguson, newly returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a broken hand, moved Norm Ullman out of the centre slot to his left wing, and Bob Sykes, a retrieval from the Leafs’ Oklahoma City farm club, was given ice time as a penalty killer and on power plays in the first period.
Whatever the mixture, it was good enough to confront the Canadiens with two good periods of hockey and assail Habs goalie with Ken Dryden with “more shots than I expected to see.” The shots numbered 45. Montréal drove 38 at an energetic Doug Favell, who was the game’s first star.
The Leafs pressured Dryden in the last half of the final period, finally earning the draw on Inge Hammarstrom’s second goal of the night, a tip-in of a blazing point drive by fellow Swede Borje Salming, after Serge Savard threw the puck away trying to clear it, then partially screened Dryden. It was Hammarstrom’s fourth goal in the past three games.
Favell saved the point as the Canadiens battled back, gloving a hard shot from Larry Robinson at the blue line with less than three minutes to go. Moments later, Jacques Lemaire deflected a pass in front by Yvan Cournoyer over the net.
The tie preserved the Canadiens’ record undefeated string on the road at 17 games. In the last meeting of these two clubs, the Leafs curtailed Montréal’s bid for a record number of games undefeated in their own rink, stopping the Habs two short of the record at 21 games with a 5-3 win.
Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, February 13, 1975
MTL GOAL – 01:53 – Shutt (Lafleur, Robinson)
MTL PEN – 02:24 – Tremblay, high sticking
MTL PEN – 02:53 – Lapointe, high sticking / roughing double minor
TOR PEN – 02:53 – Sabourin, high sticking / roughing double minor
TOR PP GOAL – 04:12 – Hammarstrom (McKenny)
MTL GOAL – 05:22 – Robinson (Mahovlich)
TOR PEN – 06:10 – Glennie, holding
TOR PEN – 09:54 – Dunn, elbowing
MTL PEN – 13:24 – Gainey, hooking
MTL PEN – 15:49 – Lapointe, tripping
TOR PEN – 03:43 – Sabourin, holding
MTL PEN – 06:39 – Roberts, interference
MTL PEN – 13:01 – Savard, interference
MTL PEN – 17:05 – Robinson, holding
MTL PEN – 08:55 – Awrey, interference
TOR PEN – 11:56 – Favell, slashing
MTL PEN – 12:43 – Shutt, interference
TOR GOAL – 16:26 – Hammarstrom (Salming)
TOR – Favell (T, 36-38)
MTL – Dryden (T, 43-45)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 18+14+13 = 45
MTL – 14+12+12 = 38
TOR – Goaltenders: Doug Favell, Pierre Hamel. Defence: Claire Alexander, Dave Dunn, Brian Glennie, Jim McKenny, Borje Salming, Rod Seiling. Forwards: Ron Ellis, George Ferguson, Inge Hammarstrom, Dave Keon (C), Gary Sabourin, Eddie Shack, Darryl Sittler, Blaine Stoughton, Bob Sykes, Norm Ullman, Tiger Williams.
MTL – Goaltenders: Ken Dryden, Michel Larocque. Defence: Don Awrey, Pierre Bouchard, Guy Lapointe, Jim Roberts, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard. Forwards: Yvan Cournoyer, Bob Gainey, Guy Lafleur, Yvon Lambert, Jacques Lemaire, Peter Mahovlich, Doug Risebrough, Glen Sather, Steve Shutt, Mario Tremblay, Murray Wilson.
⭐ Inge Hammarstrom (TOR)
⭐⭐ Larry Robinson (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Don Awrey (MTL)