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Gordie Leads Wings to Victory over Bruins in Detroit

Feb. 14, 1964 - Gordie Howe broke up a tight game with two goals 1:50 apart in the third period last night and led the Red Wings to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at the Detroit Olympia. It was the Wings’ fourth straight victory, jumping them only four points from third-place Toronto — the closest they’ve been to that spot since Nov. 17. And perhaps more importantly, it moved them seven points ahead of the stumbling Rangers in their big to make the Stanley Cup playoffs.

But it was a rough contest. It should have been played at Detroit Osteopathic. Two of the combatants wound up there anyway, Doug Barkley and Bruin star rookie Gary Dornhoefer, both with broken cheekbones sustained in separate incidents. Bill Gadsby and Andre Pronovost both were cut, and Bruin bouncer Leo Boivin aggravated Howe’s groin injury with a jolting second-period check. But Gordie, pressed into duty because of the tightness of the game, came through in the third period.

The rough stuff may have been averted if referee John Ashley had clamped down early when Larry Jeffrey felled Dornhoefer with a high elbow. It wasn’t realized that Dornhoefer’s cheekbone was broken until after the game — he returned in the second period, wearing a helmet, and played the rest of the game.

Barkley got his when he stepped into Jean-Guy Gendron at the Detroit blue line in the second period and Gendron got his elbow up, catching Barkley’s left cheekbone. He went to the hospital immediately.

Howe will play the weekend series with Montreal despite his injury. “It hurts when I take a long stride,” Howe said. “It hurt in the first period and I went out to have my thigh strapped, but then Boivin got me in the second and it smarted a little.”

Howe described his first goal of the third period: “Ted Green and Bob Leiter left the puck for each other behind the net, and when neither one took it, I did.” He swung around the corner and put it between goalie Ed Johnston’s skates for his 17th goal at 12:10. Then he completed a two-on-one rush with Parker MacDonald at 14:00 for his 18th to bring the crowd of 8,661 to its feet.


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