Rookie left winger Brit Selby and veteran George Armstrong each scored a pair of goals to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins last night at Maple Leaf Gardens in one of two National Hockey League games on New Year’s Day. In the other contest, Montreal whipped the New York Rangers 5-1.
Leafs Tie Club Record
In downing the Bruins, the Leafs tied a club record with their 10th straight game without a loss. The string equals a similar stretch compiled by the 1962-63 Leafs team. They completely dominated a last-place Boston club that seems to have neither the direction nor the will to compete at the NHL level. Toronto outshot Boston 50-26 on the game, and only the valiant work of Bruins goalie Ed Johnston kept the score respectable.
As is so often the case with the Bruins, they grabbed an early lead but were unable to hold it. Murray Oliver opened the scoring for Boston in the game’s fifth minute, but Selby’s first of the night tied it up a little less than seven minutes later.
Leafs outscored the Bruins 2-1 in the middle frame, with markers by Frank Mahovlich and Selby sandwiching a score by Eddie Westfall of the Bruins.
The final 20 minutes saw Armstrong net both of his goals, with Allan Stanley adding his second of the season on a long, bouncing shot from centre ice. . Dean Prentice found the range for the third Boston goal.
The Bruins played the game without veteran forward Johnny Bucyk, but did use young Pit Martin for the first time. Martin was acquired from Detroit this week in exchange for Parker MacDonald.
Highly touted junior forward Wayne Carleton made his NHL debut for Toronto. He played about four minutes, and earned an assist on Toronto’s sixth goal. He also had four shots at the Boston net.
Johnny Bower put in a workmanlike performance in goal for the Leafs, making 23 saves. He was a last-minute starter after Terry Sawchuk sustained an injured forearm during the pre-game warmup.
Costly Win for Habs
Henri Richard scored two goals and added an assist to pace the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 win over the New York Rangers at Montreal. But the win may have been a costly one, as Montreal captain Jean Beliveau was lost for an undetermined amount of time with a groin injury.
Beliveau suffered the injury in a first-period collision with Rangers defenseman Arnie Brown. Beliveau sat out the rest of the game and wasn’t expected to accompany the team to New York for tonight’s second game of the home and home.
Canadiens built a 2-1 first-period lead, but that was as close as Rangers could get. J.C. Tremblay opened the scoring at 2:28 with his second, followed two minutes later by Henri Richard with his ninth. Jean Ratelle got one goal back about a minute after Richard’s marker with his eighth of the year just shy of the six-minute mark. He beat Habs goalie Charlie Hodge from a scramble in front of the net.
Dick Duff and Richard connected for Montreal in the second period to put the game out of reach of the Rangers. Ralph Backstrom rounded out the Montreal scoring with his 10th of the year just shy of the three-minute mark in the third.
The first period saw a spirited bout between Rangers Brown and Claude Larose of the Canadiens. The two dropped the gloves behind the Ranger goal and during the melee, Larose managed to remove Brown’s sweater. After order was restored, Larose retrieved Brown’s jersey and tossed it into the Forum crowd.
Don Simmons was in goal for the Rangers in this one and played better than the score would indicate. He made 36 saves, many of the difficult variety. Hodge took care of the netminding duties capably for Canadiens, and was severely tested several times while making 21 stops.
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.