Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 3
Saturday, February 23, 1991
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
There’s certainly something to be said for tradition.
Tradition, that is, as in Montréal Canadiens-Toronto Maple Leafs hockey encounters, even with the Maple Leafs just one notch from the bottom of the NHL standings and the Habs still Stanley Cup contenders.
The two clubs put on whale of a show last night in a marathon, overtime thriller at the venerable Forum that ended up in a 3-3 tie.
“I thought it was a hard fought point for both teams,” said Leafs head coach Tom Watt, whose club is 3-1-7 in overtime sessions this season.
“Under the circumstances, I liked our pizzazz and zip tonight.”
The circumstances to which Watt referred was the Leafs’s previous outing, an 11-4 pasting at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins just two nights earlier. Considering that, and the fact that the Maple Leafs entered the game a dozen points out of the playoff picture, it wouldn’t have been out of the realm of possibility to have them come up with a lame effort.
That, however, was certainly not the case.
The Leafs fought – literally, in a tough contest that included 86 penalty minutes in the second period – back from a 3-1 deficit to earn the tie.
“I thought we got stronger as the night went on,” Watt said. “I thought in the third period and overtime we were carrying the play to them.”
In a bit of a surprise, Watt sat out Gary Leeman for the second time in six games. He was scratched for his poor play for the first time in several years February 9 against the New York Islanders.
Watt said Leeman was ailing with a touch of the flu, but admitted the quality of the right winger’s play was also a factor in his decision.
“It was a combination,” Watt said.
Leafs general manager Floyd Smith was in attendance at the game, and with the trading deadline less than two weeks away, speculation of a possible trade involving Leeman will no doubt heat up again.
With a decent share of the 17,791 patrons in attendance cheering for the Leafs, Toronto came out with a spirited effort in the latest in a series of must games for the club. With Minnesota tying as well last night, the Leafs remain 12 points behind the North Stars for fourth place in the Norris Division with a game in hand.
The Habs, buoyed by the return of veterans Brian Skrudland and Petr Svoboda after lengthy absences due to injury, led 3-2 going into the third period.
But with just under 12 minutes left, Leafs right winger Daniel Marois tied the game on a brilliant individual effort. The Montréal native picked up a pass a centre ice, moved down his wrong wing and outfoxed Montréal rearguard Sylvain Lefebvre with a nifty outside- inside move before drilling a wrist shot inside the left post behind Montréal netminder Jean-Claude Bergeron.
“It was good for me. You know, its been a long season,” said Marois, who has slumped to just 17 goals this season after potting 39 a year ago.
“But it was also good for the team. It was a big comeback, which we needed.”.
Story originally published in The Toronto Star, February 24, 1991
TOR PEN – 01:17 – Maguire, fighting major
MTL PEN – 01:17 – Odelein, fighting major
TOR PEN – 09:41 – Godynyuk, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 11:24 – Svoboda (Corson, Bergeron)
MTL GOAL – 14:57 – P. Lebeau (S. Lebeau)
TOR GOAL – 19:56 – Zezel (Damphousse, Ellett)
MTL GOAL – 04:00 – Savard (Schneider)
MTL PEN – 05:45 – Côté, holding
TOR PP GOAL – 05:49 – Zezel (Petit)
TOR PEN – 06:57 – Gill, fighting major + misconduct
MTL PEN – 06:57 – Odelein, fighting major + misconduct
TOR PEN – 06:57 – DeBlois, roughing / high sticking double minor
MTL PEN – 06:57 – Svoboda, roughing
TOR PEN – 06:57 – Ramage, roughing + game miscodnuct
MTL PEN – 06:57 – Courtnall, roughing
TOR PEN – 06:57 – Cimetta, misconduct
MTL PEN – 06:57 – Walter, misconduct
TOR PEN – 07:49 – Richardson, slashing
TOR PEN – 10:03 – Richardson, roughing
MTL PEN – 10:03 – Corson, roughing
TOR PEN – 12:02 – Maguire, roughing / unsportsmanlike conduct double minor
MTL PEN – 12:02 – Keane, roughing
MTL PEN – 14:14 – Corson, unsportsmanlike conduct
TOR GOAL – 08:22 – Marois (Damphousse)
TOR PEN – 11:55 – Gill, roughing
MTL PEN – 11:55 – McPhee, roughing
TOR – Reese (T, 26-29)
MTL – Bergeron (T, 28-31)
SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 8+13+8+2 = 31
MTL – 10+10+8+1 = 29
TOR – Goaltenders: Jeff Reese. Defence: Dave Ellett, Todd Gill, Alexander Godynyuk, Michel Petit, Rob Ramage (C), Luke Richardson. Forwards: Brian Bradley, Rob Cimetta, Vincent Damphousse, Lucien DeBlois, Mike Foligno, Dave Hannan, Mike Krushelnyski, Kevin Maguire, Daniel Marois, Dave Reid, Scott Thornton, Peter Zezel.
MTL – Goaltenders: Jean-Claude Bergeron. Defence: Alain Côté, J.J. Daigneault, Sylvain Lefebvre, Lyle Odelein, Mathieu Schneider, Petr Svoboda. Forwards: Guy Carbonneau (C), Andrew Cassels, Tom Chorske, Shayne Corson, Russ Courtnall, Mike Keane, Patrick Lebeau, Stéphan Lebeau, Mike McPhee (A), Denis Savard, Brian Skrudland (A), Ryan Walter.
TOR – 17-39-7 (.325)
MTL – 32-24-8 (.563)