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Habs Sneak By Bruins at Montreal Forum

Feb. 20, 1964 - If the Canadiens hope to outlast Chicago for the NHL leadership, they will have to play a lot better than they did in tonight’s game at the Forum. However, the absence of a winning attitude in the dressing room showed they realized as much after edging the last-place Bruins, 3-2. The Habs’ victory came on a couple of early first-period goals and another in the second minute of the third period as visiting netminder Ed Johnston had an off night. Claude Provost (pictured) netted his 11th and 12th of the season while Bobby Rousseau connected for his 21st goal.

The Canadiens were ahead 3-0 with Charlie Hodge on the way to his sixth shutout when the Bruins scored twice in the last two minutes of the game. Doug Mohns deflected a long slap shot off a Montreal skate for the shutout breaker at 18:10. Jerry Toppazzini got a loose puck to score on a high, long shot exactly one minute later. “They could have scored a lot sooner,” grumbled Canadiens’ coach Toe Blake. “We were terribly disorganized during the second and third periods.”

Ralph Backstrom, still dogged by hard luck around the net, where he missed on two fine chances, summed it up for the rest of the team: “As long as we realize we didn’t play well, this win should help us.”

Thus the Habs know they have their work cut out to beat the Black Hawks in the first of three remaining games between the teams in Montreal Saturday. As a result of tonight’s triumph, Montreal moved back into a first-place tie with Chicago and still have two games in hand on the Hawks.



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