Game 586 – Canadiens 8, Maple Leafs 4

Game 586
Canadiens 8, Maple Leafs 4
Sunday, December 23, 1979
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Mark Napier’s sixth goal of the season, at 11:13 of the first period, sparked a four-goal outburst in a span of 3:44 that carried the Montréal Canadiens to an 8-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in a National Hockey League game last night.

Serge Savard, Guy Lafleur and Yvon Lambert completed the rapid-fire scoring for Montréal, which had an earlier goal from Pierre Larouche, a second-period score by Doug Risebrough and third-period goals by Pierre Mondou and Lambert.

Ian Turnbull scored two goals and Greg Hotham and Terry Martin one each for Toronto.

The Canadiens, who snapped a six-game slump Saturday with a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, fired 34 shots at Paul Harrison and Mike Palmateer in the Toronto goal. The Maple Leafs had 27 shots at Michel Larocque in the Montréal net.

The Canadiens are 17-13-6 for 40 points, first in the Norris Division, while Toronto is 15-14-4 for 34 points, fourth in the Adams Division.

In the first period, the Canadiens were all over the Maple Leafs, pounding them into the boards, knocking them flat and beating them to the puck time after time, especially in the Leafs’ end.

Larouche opened the Habs’ scoring at 1:06 when a weak backhand caught Leafs goalie Paul Harrison expecting a hard shot.

The Leafs scored their first goal when defenceman Hotham drifted a shot in from the right point. Larocque misjudged it and the Forum crowd expressed its displeasure loudly.

Less than a minute later, Turnbull rushed in over the blueline from his defence post and neatly stickhandled around both defencemen Savard and Brian Engblom, who made the mistake of playing the puck instead of the man. Turnbull gave the Leafs a 2-1 lead when he backhanded the puck past Larouche.

Napier tied the score on a weak slapshot that once again found the space between Harrison’s pads. After that, Savard let go a wicked slapshot from the point. Harrison, screened on the play, had no chance.

The Leafs gave up the puck repeatedly or let Montréal fetch it out of the corners unmolested.

Lafleur got the Canadiens’ fourth goal at 13:49 of the period, after Napier’s pass from the point.

Mario Tremblay was the architect of the fifth Montréal goal, skating furiously back into his own end to pick up the loose puck and head down the ice, before sending a perfect pass to Yvon Lambert, who beat Toronto’s defence and blasted a shot to the far corner.

Leafs coach Floyd Smith had seen enough and pulled Harrison in favour of Palmateer.

The Canadiens let up a bit in the second period, preferring to shoot the puck into the Leafs’ end instead of carrying it in.

Playing it safe, they pulled back their forecheckers, allowing the Leafs to clear the puck out of their own zone several times and mount a few respectable rushes, some of which resulted in testing shots on the Montréal net.

At 4:12, Turnbull scored when his shot from the point deflected off one of the Canadiens mixing it up in front of the net.

At 7:12, Risebrough increased the Montréal lead to 6-3, gathering in a Larry Robinson pass at the Leafs’ blueline and skating in alone on Palmateer. The Leafs’ Borje Salming and Joel Quenneville were left behind at the red line. Risebrough’s shot beat the Leafs netminder to the glove side.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, December 24, 1979

1st Period
TOR PEN – 00:34 – Salming, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 01:06 – Larouche (Lapointe)
MTL PEN – 03:15 – Jarvis, hooking
TOR GOAL – 09:02 – Hotham
TOR GOAL – 10:21 – Turnbull (McDonald, Hutchison)
MTL GOAL – 11:13 – Napier (Lafleur, Mondou)
MTL GOAL – 11:28 – Savard (Gainey)
TOR PEN – 12:13 – Hutchison, roughing
MTL PP GOAL – 13:49 – Lafleur (Napier, Mondou)
MTL GOAL – 14:57 – Lambert (Tremblay, Savard)
TOR PEN – 16:41 – Quenneville, holding

2nd Period
TOR GOAL – 04:32 – Turnbull (Boschman)
MTL GOAL – 07:12 – Risebrough (Robinson, Savard)
MTL PEN – 13:30 – Robinson, tripping

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 04:13 – Mondou (Shutt, Robinson)
TOR PEN – 08:31 – team, too many men on the ice
TOR GOAL – 15:04 – Martin (McKechnie, Ellis)
MTL GOAL – 18:09 – Lambert (Tremblay)

MTL – Larocque (W, 23-27)
TOR – Harrison (L, 5-10), Palmateer (21-24)

MTL – 15+8+11 = 34
TOR – 5+14+8 = 27

MTLGoaltenders: Michel Larocque, Richard Sévigny. Defence: Brian Engblom, Rod Langway, Guy Lapointe, Gilles Lupien, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard (C). Forwards: Bob Gainey, Réjean Houle, Doug Jarvis, Guy Lafleur, Yvon Lambert, Pierre Larouche, Pierre Mondou, Mark Napier, Doug Risebrough, Steve Shutt, Mario Tremblay.
TORGoaltenders: Paul Harrison, Mike Palmateer. Defence: Dave Burrows, Greg Hotham, Dave Hutchison, Joel Quenneville, Borje Salming, Ian Turnbull. Forwards: John Anderson, Laurie Boschman, Pat Boutette, Jerry Butler, Ron Ellis, Terry Martin, Lanny McDonald, Walt McKechnie, Rocky Saganiuk, Darryl Sittler (C), Dave Williams.

MTL – 17-13-6 (.556)
TOR – 15-14-4 (.515)