Game 599 – Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 3

Game 599
Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 3
Saturday, October 22, 1983
Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Maple Leafs went into last night’s third period with a 2-1 lead against the Montréal Canadiens at the Gardens.

“That’s the type of situation that makes a goalie feel that he’s contributed something,” said Leaf goalie Rick St. Croix, whose excellent work was the reason why the two scores still counted for something at the late stage.

“But at that point, you really hope it’s your team that gets the next one, because it can go a long way towards deciding the game,” St. Croix added.

The Leafs did get that score, then two more on their way to a 5-3 National Hockey League victory that lifted them above the .500 mark with four wins and a tie in eight games.

After the Leafs had been blitzed, 8-1, by the Québec Nordiques Wednesday and neither St. Croix nor Mike Palmateer exactly excelled, Leaf coach Mike Nykoluk said that the Leafs’ goaltending had not bailed the club out in any match this season.

That statement can go to the dump now because St. Croix did precisely that. The Canadiens held a 27-16 margin in shots on goal in the first 40 minutes, 37-25 on the game and St. Croix’s solid work propped them up.

“The Canadiens’ forechecking will give many teams big trouble this season,” St. Croix said. “They still have a few guys who can score goals, too.

“When we carried the one-goal lead into the third period and the other guy (Canadien goalie Richard Sévigny) made some really tough saves, it made me more determined not to be the one who cracked and gave up the big goal. But then our guys went to work in the first 10 minutes of the third and wrapped it up with not one, but three, goals.”

“Our goaltending, which has been inconsistent at times this season, was very strong and it made a big difference,” Nykoluk said. “Of course, getting the jump in the third period with our third goal helped a large amount, too.”

Rick Vaive, who scored 54 and 51 goals in the past two seasons despite slow starts, counted the first two goals for the Leafs, giving him seven in eight games in his best opening to date.

Mirko Frycer, Greg Terrion and Bill Derlago had the other Leaf scores.

Mark Hunter with two and Mats Naslund had the Canadiens’ goals.

Already missing Rick Green from a thin defence with a broken wrist, the Canadiens lost king-pin Larry Robinson in the second period with a pulled hamstring muscle in his left leg.

Notes: The Canadiens were missing goalie Rick Wamsley (ankle), defencemen Rick Green (broken wrist) and rookie Kent Carlson and forward Mark Napier (ankle)…Carlson’s sister Jill, 16, was killed in a car accident near their New Hampshire home…The Leafs sat out defenceman Bill Stewart as the signing of centre Dale McCourt moved them one player over the roster limit…Greg Moffett was summoned from the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the American League to replace Wamsley as back-up goalie to Richard Sévigny.

Story originally published in The Toronto Star, October 23, 1983

1st Period
TOR GOAL – 01:52 – Vaive (Daoust)
MTL PEN – 05:22 – Tremblay, slashing
TOR PP GOAL – 07:08 – Vaive (Anderson, Daoust)
MTL PEN – 08:18 – Leeman, tripping

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 00:28 – Hunter (Acton, Ludwig)
TOR PEN – 03:31 – Nigro, cross checking
MTL PEN – 13:53 – Robinson, holding
TOR PEN – 18:12 – Derlago, hooking

3rd Period
TOR GOAL – 05:11 – Frycer (Derlago)
MTL PEN – 08:22 – Hunter, high sticking
TOR PEN – 08:22 – Korn, high sticking
TOR GOAL – 08:44 – Terrion (Harris, Gingras)
TOR GOAL – 09:40 – Derlago
MTL GOAL – 13:17 – Naslund (Tremblay, Mondou)
TOR PEN – 15:33 – Graham, elbowing
TOR PEN – 17:57 – Korn, holding / roughing double minor
MTL PP GOAL – 19:39 – Hunter (Lafleur, Acton)

TOR – St. Croix (W, 34-37)
MTL – Sévigny (L, 20-25)

TOR – 5+11+9 = 25
MTL – 13+14+10 = 37

TORGoaltenders: Mike Palmateer, Rick St. Croix. Defence: Jim Benning, Gaston Gingras, Jim Korn, Dave Farrish, Borje Salming. Forwards: John Anderson, Dan Daoust, Bill Derlago, Miroslav Frycer, Stew Gavin, Pat Graham, Billy Harris, Gary Leeman, Terry Martin, Dale McCourt, Frank Nigro, Greg Terrion, Rick Vaive (C).
MTLGoaltenders: Greg Moffett, Richard Sévigny. Defence: Gilbert Delorme, Jean Hamel, Craig Ludwig, Robert Picard, Larry Robinson, Bill Root. Forwards: Keith Acton, Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey (C), Mark Hunter, Guy Lafleur, Pierre Mondou, Mats Naslund, Chris Nilan, Steve Shutt, Mario Tremblay, Ryan Walter, Doug Wickenheiser.

TOR – 4-3-1 (.563)
MTL – 4-4-0 (.500)