50 Years Ago in Hockey – Habs Rout Rangers

The hometown Montreal Canadiens rode the goaltending of Gump Worsley to a convincing 5-1 win over the New York Rangers in one of three National Hockey League games played last night. Toronto blasted Boston 6-1 at Toronto while Detroit got by Chicago 3-1 at the Olympia in Detroit.

Backstrom bags two

Ralph Backstrom scored  pair of goals to pace the Montreal attack against the Rangers.  He now has 17 on the season.  Backstrom’s left winger John Ferguson also had a big night, adding a goal and two assists.  Defenceman Jean-Guy Talbot, with the game-winner, and Leon Rochefort, also scored for the Habs.

Ralph Backstrom was a two-goal shooter for the Habs.
Ralph Backstrom was a two-goal shooter for the Habs.

The game was a match-up between goaltenders who had been traded for each other in the summer of 1963.  Worsley came out on top this time, making 27 saves.  Jacques Plante in the Ranger goal, blocked 35, but unlike Worsley, couldn’t come up with the big stop when his team needed it most.

Blake credits Gump

Montreal coach Toe Blake credited his goaltender with saving the game for home side.

“If Worsley hadn’t pulled off some big saves in the first two periods, we could have been in trouble.”

New York’s only goal came off the stick of Camille Henry with five minutes to play in the second period.  Montreal was two men short at the time.

Fergie floors Swede

Ulf Sterner, the Swedish-born forward attempting to make his mark in the NHL, played a regular shift at centre, between Bob Nevin and Don Marshall.  Ferguson sent a special welcome to the league when he floored the rookie with a not-so-subtle elbow in the first period.

Bower solid for Leafs

Toronto goaltender Johnny Bower put in a tidy night’s work as the Leafs rolled over the Bruins.  Bower made 26 saves, but wasn’t often tested severely over the course of the game.  He did make some fine stops on John Bucyk, Tom Williams, Ted Green and Billy Knibbs.

Six players shared in the Leafs’ scoring parade.  George Armstrong, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Pulford,, Andy Bathgate, Dickie Moore and Eddie Shack were the marksmen.  For Mahovlich, it was his first goal in eight games.

Orland Kurtenbach was the Boston goal-getter.

Shack’s appearance popular with fans

Eddie Shack scored a goal in limited ice time.

Shack, who rode the bench for the first two periods, earned a full workload in the final frame with some energetic checking and effective rushes to the net.  His presence delighted the sellout crowd, who have taken to chanting “We want Shack” between his infrequent appearances.

Johnston breaks hand

After the game, Boston goaltender Ed Johnston, a surprise starter for the Bruins, had a heavily bandaged and badly swollen hand, thanks to a slash across the knuckles from an unidentified Toronto player in the first period.  X-rays last night revealed the hand is broken and Johnston will miss four to six weeks.

Boston goalie Ed Johnston played the full game despite breaking his hand in the first period.
Boston goalie Ed Johnston played the full game despite breaking his hand in the first period.

Johnston wasn’t supposed to start at all in this game. Rookie Jack Norris, 22, was slated to make his NHL debut at Maple Leaf Gardens, but was unable to play when his equipment came up missing.

Norris’ equipment goes missing

Norris had left his gear with a bellhop at the Royal York Hotel, but when he went to retrieve it to take it to the Gardens, it had disappeared.  Johnston played well despite the early injury, as he once again received little support from his mates.

Lost equipment or not, Norris will have to find a way to play tonight, as the Bruins host the Leafs in the second half of the home-and-home weekender .

Ten for Terrible Ted

Ted Lindsay’s 10th goal of the season in the first period opened the scoring for the Red Wings and they never looked back at home against the Black Hawks.  Lindsay, whose comeback to the NHL after four seasons away from the league has to be termed a success, wasn’t expected to reach double-digits in goals.

Ted Lindsay now has 10 goals.
Ted Lindsay now has 10 goals.

Alex Delvecchio scored what proved to be the game-winner in the middle stanza, his 12th of the campaign.

After Phil Esposito had narrowed the gap to one for the Hawks early in the third, Gordie Howe fired an unassisted marker into an empty Chicago net to put the game out of reach with about 10 seconds left to play.

The game marked the fourth straight in which Chicago star Bobby Hull was held without a goal, although he did garner an assist on Esposito’s marker.