Strong goaltending and tight checking highlighted the two NHL games played last night as the New York Rangers shut out Toronto 1-0 and Chicago got by Montreal 3-1.
Plante’s triumphant return
In Toronto, the Rangers rode the puckstopping of Jacques Plante to their narrow win over the Leafs. Plante, who was making a triumphant return to the National Hockey League after being banished to the AHL in training camp, made 27 saves. He was supported by a solid two-way performance by his mates which featured constant close checking.
The only goal of the game was scored by Camille Henry of the Rangers with less than a minute to play in the second period. It came off an Arnie Brown point shot which Leafs goaltender Johnny Bower managed to stop. The ensuing scramble for the rebound led to the puck ending up on Henry’s stick and the slightly built sniper made no mistake in firing the puck into the Toronto goal.
Plante’s best work was in the final minute of play when the Leafs lifted Bower in favour of an extra attacker. Don McKenney had a great scoring opportunity but could not beat Plante, who dove across the goal mouth to deflect the puck wide with his right hand.
Plante was recalled Friday by the Rangers to replace the injured Marcel Paille. Ever the contrarian, Plante requested permission to fly in to Toronto on Saturday. He cited his reason as the asthma he feels is brought on by the atmosphere in Toronto. He was given permission by the Rangers and arrived Saturday morning.
Hall withstands a hail of Montreal shots
At Montreal, 15,243 fans saw their beloved Canadiens completely frustrated by the superb goaltending of the Black Hawks’ Glenn Hall. Mr. Goalie, as he is known in Chicago, faced 48 Montreal drives in the game, being beaten only once. That was with less than five minutes to play when Bobby Rousseau scored with the Habs already trailing 3-0.
After a scoreless first period in which Hall made 19 stops, Kenny Wharram finally broke the ice with the game’s first goal with less than three minutes left in the second. Phil Esposito and Chico Maki each tallied in the third before Rousseau ruined Hall’s shut out bid.
Orr golden again
In the only OHA Junior A game played last night, the Oshawa Generals took on the Montreal Junior Canadiens in Kingston. Thanks to another spectacular performance by 16-year-old defenceman Bobby Orr, the Generals skated off with a 4-2 win over the Baby Habs. Orr scored two goals to provide the margin of difference for the Gens.
We continue to hear more and more about this youngster who seems to be able to do it all for Oshawa. Even though he has four years of junior eligibility left, it’s highly doubtful that the Boston Bruins will wait that long before making the highly touted Owen Sound native a regular National Hockey Leaguer.
Retired police detective, involved in hockey at all levels for over 50 years. Member of Society for International Hockey Research and presently a video analyst for the leader in advanced hockey analytics (we work exclusively for 2 NHL clubs, and provide advice on an ad hoc basis to many other clients). Currently the Assistant General Manager for the Pelham Pirates of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. Previously owned the Faceoff computer hockey simulation and also provided all player ratings for the EA Sports series of NHL computer games from the late 90’s into the mid 2000’s.