Jan. 5, 1964 - “Sometimes we’ll gladly settle for a tie, but not in a case like tonight,” said a disappointed coach Toe Blake tonight after his Canadiens were forced to a 3-3 deadlock by the Red Wings before 12,528 at Olympia Stadium. Blake had good reason to be peeved. His team had come from behind an earlier two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 lead and then blew it on a defensive miscue with six minutes to play. Still, it was a profitable weekend for the Habs, who beat Boston, 5-1, last night at the Forum. They picked up a point on both the league-leading Black Hawks and the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs. They now trail Chicago by only three points and are two ahead of Toronto, where they play Wednesday night.
Tonight, veteran Norm Ullman scored the equalizer on a brilliant setup from Gordie Howe after the Habs had failed to clinch the victory with several big scoring chances in the third period. The goal was set up by defenseman Jean-Claude Tremblay’s weak passout that deflected off referee Frank Udvari’s skates to Howe. The big winger coasted into the side of the Montreal net and relayed to Ullman who beat Charlie Hodge on the left side. Montreal’s Jean Beliveau scored the picture goal of the evening. Detroit rearguard Ron Ingram was off for tripping when the Habs staged a power play that held the puck in the Wings’ zone for a full minute. Then Bill Hicke and John Ferguson worked the puck out to Beliveau just inside the blue line. Andre Pronovost made a stab for the puck off Beliveau’s stick but instinctively Jean deked the Detroit winger and let go a 35-footer that beat Terry Sawchuk high on the left side. “I saw Andre at the last second,” said Jean. “If he had poked the puck away, he would have had a clear breakaway.”