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Rangers Win the Brawl, Lose the Game to Montreal at Madison Square Garden

Dec. 30, 1963 - The New York Rangers outbattled the Montreal Canadiens but couldn’t outscore them as they lost a wild 6-2 game last night at Madison Square Garden. The capacity crowd of 15,925 was in an uproar through a good part of the third period as the two clubs traded punches. There were two brawls, the first drawing 38 minutes in penalties, the second 47. The total was far short of the NHL record for penalties in a game. A total of 204 minutes was handed out in the battle between Montreal and Toronto on Dec. 9, 1953. Last night, Montreal rocked the Rangers with four first-period goals. Henri Richard and Bobby Rousseau scored twice each, with Dave Balon and Jean Beliveau accounting for the other Montreal goals. Camille Henry scored both New York goals. Tempers flared late in the second period. Ranger Vic Hadfield (pictured on top of Claude Provost) and Richard high-sticked each other and were sent off at 17:55. Hadfield offered to trade punches with Richard in the penalty box and was restrained by special police. This was the preliminary that touched off the third-period melee. It began with New York’s Harry Howell and Montreal’s Terry Harper tangling at center ice. Then Rod Gilbert of the Rangers and Ralph Backstrom traded punches at the Ninth Avenue end of the arena. A fan jumped onto the ice, but Charlie Hodge, the Montreal goalie, waved his stick and the fan made a quick departure. Seven minutes later, the second series of scraps took place. Ranger defenseman Larry Cahan was the busiest fist-swinger. He took on Jacques Laperriere, Beliveau, and Jean-Claude Tremblay, knocking the last to the ice with a right hand to the jaw. Meanwhile, Hadfield (pictured), after breaking out of a headlock, slugged Claude Provost a few times after beating his opponent’s head on the ice. There was a delay of about 15 minutes for each brawl. Efforts to restore order were made more difficult by fans who littered the ice with debris during the fighting.


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