Preseason Game 30 – Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 3

Preseason Game 30
Canadiens 5, Maple Leafs 3
Wednesday, September 21, 1994
Forum de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

Five Montréal Canadien rookies were put under the gun yesterday, and all five responded.

Brian Savage and Valeri Bure scored goals, Craig Darby and Turner Stevenson had assists, and Donald Brashear got into a lively scrap with Todd Gill, as the Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 in a National Hockey League exhibition game.

Before the game, coach Jacques Demers said he was giving the youngsters “one more chance” to prove themselves before a proposed round of cuts today.

Now he may delay the cuts until after a home-and-home series with the Québec Nordiques, beginning tomorrow night at the Forum.

“I had a good talk with Savage and Stevenson,” Demers said. “I told them they had to raise their level of play and they did.

“Darby played well too, and that’s how they’ll have to play. It makes it more difficult to cut the roster, that’s for sure.”

Savage and Bure scored in the first period as the Canadiens built a 3-0 lead. Vincent Damphousse, Éric Desjardins and Benoît Brunet also scored for Montréal, 2-3-1 in preseason play. Bure left the game midway through the second period with a charley horse.

Dave Ellett had two goals and Mike Gartner had another as the Leafs, 4-1, lost their first preseason game.

“We didn’t look very good,” said Toronto coach Pat Burns, whose team began a stretch of five games in six nights that continues tonight at home against Detroit.

“We came out flying but we didn’t keep it up.”

A key moment for Montréal came late in the second period when Yves Racine was sent off for four minutes and Patrice Brisebois for five, both for high sticking.

The Leafs had a two man advantage for the final 2:48 of the period, but didn’t beat goaltender Patrick Roy.

Ellett scored his second goal of the game on a point shot only 14 seconds into the third period, but the Canadiens killed another four minutes of penalties, to the delight of the announced crowd of 16,141.

A surprise came after the game, when the two teams lined up and shook hands on the ice in a show of solidarity over stalled contract talks with owners.

Gartner, president of the NHL Players Association, said the handshakes were arranged with Canadien player representatives before the match. League owners have set an October 1 deadline for a lockout if a new agreement is not signed.

“When there’s a deadline, there’s always a sense of urgency,” Gartner said.

Pat Jablonski started in goal for Toronto and surrendered three goals on 18 shots. Rookie Éric Fichaud, who was sent back to the junior Chicoutimi Sagueneens after the game, took over at 10:11 of the second period.

Damphousse converted a feed from John LeClair at the edge of the crease to open the scoring 9:01 into the match. Savage deflected a pass from Brisebois behind Jablonski at 18:21, and Bure tipped in another LeClair pass at 19:54.

Ellett beat Roy with a quick shot from the left circle on a power play 13:06 into the second period, while Desjardins beat Fichaud with a point shot on the power play at 15:12.

After Ellett’s second goal, Brunet went in alone to deke Fichaud at 9:52 of the third period. Gartner poked in Mats Sundin’s rebound from the side of the net at 16:54.

Montréal outshot Toronto 33-32.

Story originally published in The Globe & Mail, September 22, 1994

1st Period
MTL PEN – 04:01 – Brisebois
MTL GOAL – 09:01 – Damphousse (LeClair, Desjardins)
TOR PEN – 09:56 – Mironov
TOR PEN – 15:33 – Baumgartner, slashing
MTL PEN – 15:33 – Brashear, roughing
MTL GOAL – 18:21 – Savage (Brisebois, Ronan)
MTL GOAL – 19:54 – Bure (LeClair, Damphousse)

2nd Period
MTL PEN – 12:17 – Ronan
TOR PP GOAL – 13:06 – Ellett (Gilmour, Jonsson)
TOR PEN – 13:48 – Gill, roughing
MTL PEN – 13:48 – Brashear, roughing
TOR PEN – 15:02 – Macoun
MTL PP GOAL – 15:12 – Desjardins (Bellows, Darby)
TOR PEN – 15:12 – Gilmour
MTL PEN – 15:32 – Desjardins
MTL PEN – 16:48 – Racine, high sticking double minor
MTL PEN – 17:00 – Brisebois, high sticking major + game misconduct

3rd Period
TOR PP2 GOAL – 00:14 – Ellett (Mironov, Gilmour)

MTL PEN – 02:21 – Racine
TOR PEN – 05:02 – Lacroix
TOR PEN – 07:09 – Macoun
MTL GOAL – 09:52 – Brunet (Stevenson, Darby)
TOR PEN – 10:29 – Baumgartner
MTL PEN – 10:29 – Stevenson
TOR PEN – 15:42 – Gill
TOR PEN – 15:49 – Gilmour, major
MTL PEN – 15:49 – Racine, double minor
TOR SH GOAL – 16:54 – Gartner (Sundin)

MTL – Roy (W, 29-32)
TOR – Jablonski (15-18), Fichaud (L, 13-15)

MTL – 11+13+9 = 33
TOR – 13+8+11 = 32