Flashback Canadiens-Bruins: 1979
Stanley Cup Semifinals
Boston vs Montreal
After finishing ahead of the Bruins in the standings with a league-leading 115 points and going undefeated in four regular season meetings against Boston, the three-time defending Stanley Cup champion Canadiens should have handled their bitter rival with relative ease. No one bothered telling that to the Bruins.
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Determined to avenge their consecutive playoff defeats to the Canadiens over the past two seasons, Don Cherry and his Bruins carried a 3-1 lead into the second intermission thanks to a pair of goals from Wayne Cashman. With the chances of their bid for a fourth-straight Cup slipping away, Scotty Bowman’s crew came out roaring in the third with a pair of early goals to tie things up and turn the tide.
That momentum was short-lived for the Habs as Rick Middleton silenced the Forum crowd at the 16:01 mark by putting Boston back on top 4-3. With time winding down in the third period, it appeared the Bruins were well on their way to victory until a too many men call breathed new life into the Habs with 2:22 left in regulation. With already 11 points in the series, Guy Lafleur burned the Bruins again by accepting a drop pass from linemate Jacques Lemaire and blasting a one-timer from inside the blue line past goalie Gilles Gilbert to tie the game with 1:11 left on the clock, forcing overtime.
The stage was then set for unlikely hero Yvon Lambert, who sealed the Bruins’ fate at 9:53 of overtime by hammering home a feed from Mario Tremblay to send the Bruins packing and end a battle to forever be known as the “Too Many Men” game.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com