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Rangers Hang On To Beat Leafs, 5-4

Jan. 15, 1964 - The New York Rangers piled up a 5-1 lead in two periods, then held on to defeat Toronto, 5-4, at Maple Leaf Gardens today as the Leafs staged a tremendous rally in the third period. The Leafs blew a chance to take over second place in the NHL, while the Rangers remained in fifth place. The Rangers, now five points behind the fourth-place Red Wings, stormed all over the Leafs in the first two periods. The Toronto club, normally a heavy-checking crew, seemed reluctant to body-check against the swift New Yorkers and, time and again, the Rangers were left unguarded in front of the Toronto net. The tide turned completely in the third period, however, with the Rangers appearing to tire. Toronto removed goaltender Don Simmons in the dying seconds, but could not get the tying goal with an extra attacker.

Vic Hadfield and Don McKenney gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the first period. Rod Gilbert, defenseman Al Langlois, and Earl Ingarfield made it 5-0 in the second before Jim Pappin scored for Toronto. Pappin added a second goal in the third, sandwiched between markers by Frank Mahovlich and Bob Pulford. The 14,007 fans in Maple Leaf Gardens, normally a loyal home side, booed the Leafs lustily throughout the first two periods. Toronto’s troubles started early as Hadfield capped a three-on-one break by the Rangers, banging Andy Bathgate’s rebound past Simmons after only 35 seconds had elapsed in the first period. It was the first of three assists picked up by Bathgate, the Ranger captain. McKenney made it 2-0 when Leafs defenseman Carl Brewer fell while trying to check him, and the Ranger winger cruised in alone to deke Simmons. Gilbert then took a long pass from Camille Henry and outflanked the Leaf defense to drive a shot into the net off the post on Simmons’ glove side.


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