Game 598 – Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 3

Game 598
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 3
Tuesday, March 8, 1983
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Forget, for a moment, all the quibbling about the mistakes or good luck that gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-3 tie with the Montréal Canadiens last night.

Say first of all that it was a grand exhibition that the Leafs and the Canadiens put on together at the old Montréal Forum.

It was the kind of rollicking, end-to-end display of brinksmanship that the Leafs’ John Anderson and Mike Palmateer relished when they were boys in Toronto.

And, on this night, the culmination of the Leafs’ best season against the Canadiens in memory, it was the Toronto boys grown up who made heroes of themselves.

It was Anderson, lingering on the ice through a shift change, who first set up and scored the goal that completed a Leaf comeback from a 3-0 disadvantage.

And it was the gritty, controlled goaltending of Palmateer that kept the Leafs in the game through a dreadful first period, then held off the Canadiens while Billy Harris and Anderson tied the score in the third period.

Maybe it was a Montréal mistake, a mistake that Canadien coach Bob Berry blamed on selfishness, that let the Leafs get the tie.

Berry blamed Guy Carbonneau, the little centre who beat out Leaf Dan Daoust for a Montréal job, for the Anderson goal and told him so behind closed doors right after the game.

The Canadiens got caught with two centres (Pierre Mondou was the other) when Carbonneau was slow coming off on a line change. “Maybe he wanted another goal,” Berry said. “That’s what I call selfishness.” While the Canadiens were fouling up their line change, the Leafs were making changes of their own, switching from the Daoust-Anderson-Rick Vaive combination to Harris, Greg Terrion and Terry Martin.

Harris was just on the ice, along with Terrion, when he knocked the puck down at the blueline to keep it in the Montréal zone. But Anderson, waiting for the puck to go into the corner before going all the way across the ice to the Leaf bench for the change, was still on the ice.

Anderson caught up with the loose puck in the Toronto zone and hit Terrion with a setup pass in front of the net.

Montréal goaltender Rick Wamsley got in front of Terrion’s shot, but he was down on the ice when Anderson raced in behind the shooter and slid the rebound in the open side. “That’s like a dream come true, just playing in a game like this, for anybody who grew up in Toronto watching the Leafs and Canadiens on television,” Anderson said. “This is how it was when I was a kid,” said Palmateer, who kept the Leafs from being buried in the first period and then saved the chance for a tie with a big stop on Mark Napier in the third period.

But his biggest play may have been tying up Ryan Walter to keep him from getting at his own rebound while defenceman Jim Korn scooped it out of the crease at the open corner.

Harris had trimmed the Montréal lead to one goal in the fourth minute of the third period when he banged in a Borje Salming rebound.

Bill Derlago, brought out of a long slump by a reunion with Vaive, had started the comeback with a second-period goal. Mario Tremblay scored twice and Guy Lafleur once for the Canadiens.

One record-keeper made it 65 years since the Canadiens had failed to beat a Toronto team at least once during a season.

But the bottom line to all that drama and excitement is that the tie left the Leafs alone in fourth place in the Norris Division, one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings in the fight for the division’s final playoff berth.

NOTES: Ex-Leaf defenceman Robert Picard paid the price for tripping Stewart Gavin early in the second period. As Gavin went down, his skate came up and cut Picard under the chin, keeping him out of the game for the rest of the period…With Frank Nigro gone to the minors, Vaive worked a double shift at right wing, filling in on the fourth line with Derlago and Gavin…Derlago’s goal, the 100th of his NHL career, was only his third in 26 games since he returned from a knee injury…Linesman Wayne Forsey left the game after the first period because of the flu. The other linesman, Bob Luther, was hit in the face by a puck in the first minute of the final period, holding up the game for 15 minutes.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, March 9, 1983

1st Period
MTL GOAL – 02:43 – Tremblay (Mondou, Naslund)
MTL GOAL – 10:23 – Tremblay (Naslund, Mondou)
TOR PEN – 12:15 – Gavin, holding
MTL PEN – 18:19 – Nilan, misconduct
MTL PEN – 19:36 – Acton, tripping

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 03:52 – Picard, tripping
TOR PEN – 08:32 – Korn, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 10:25 – Lafleur (Robinson)
MTL PEN – 12:09 – Nilan, elbowing
TOR GOAL – 19:16 – Derlago (Farrish, Vaive)
MTL PEN – 19:39 – Gainey, holding

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 03:33 – Harris (Salming)
TOR PEN – 05:17 – Vaive, fighting major
MTL PEN – 05:17 – Gainey, fighting major
TOR PEN – 05:35 – Salming, interference
MTL PEN – 14:37 – Carbonneau, holding
TOR GOAL – 17:18 – Anderson (Terrion, Harris)

MTL – Wamsley (T, 24-27)
TOR – Palmateer (T, 28-31)

MTL – 13+7+11 = 31
TOR – 6+11+10 = 27

MTLGoaltenders: Richard Sévigny, Rick Wamsley. Defence: Gilbert Delorme, Craig Ludwig, Ric Nattress, Robert Picard, Larry Robinson, Bill Root. Forwards: Keith Acton, Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey (C), Guy Lafleur, Pierre Mondou, Mark Napier, Mats Naslund, Chris Nilan, Steve Shutt, Mario Tremblay, Ryan Walter, Doug Wickenheiser.
TORGoaltenders: Bruce Dowie, Mike Palmateer. Defence: Jim Benning, Gaston Gingras, Jim Korn, Dave Farrish, Barry Melrose, Gary Nylund, Borje Salming. Forwards: John Anderson, Dan Daoust, Bill Derlago, Miroslav Frycer, Stew Gavin, Billy Harris, Peter Ihnacak, Terry Martin, Walt Poddubny, Greg Terrion, Rick Vaive (C).

MTL – 35-20-13 (.610)
TOR – 20-34-12 (.394)