When the Atlanta Flames acquired Jean pronovost from the Pittsburgh Penguins a three-way deal before this season started, they were looking for added scoring punch which would make them an NHL contender.
The 32-year-old Pronovost had scored 316 goals in 10 seasons in Pittsburgh, including 43 in 1974-75, 52 in 1975-76 and 40 in two other seasons. The Flames won their 10th straight game Friday night - and pronovost scored for the first time.
It felt like someone took 200 pounds off my shoulders," said Pronovost, whose playing time has been limited by a bad knee. "As long as I get rid of the goose egg, I think things will go on now."
The Flames, 10-0-2, defeated Pittsburgh, 2-0, behind Dan Bouchard's second straight shutout and challenged history when they went into Montreal last night for a duel with the Canadiens. A win or tie by Fred Creighton's wonder boys would move them to within one game of the Canadiens' 35-year-old record of 14 games without a loss at the start of the season.
Said Pronovost of the Montreal game, "Now they (Montreal) will try to beat us - but they won't."
Pronovost's first goal is a Flame came 3:26 into the first period when he beat former teammate Denis Herron in the Penguin, goal. Tom Lysiak added the game's other goal into an empty net with one second left in the game. It was Lysiak's eighth goal of the season.
"Right now the Flames have a hot goaltender and a lot of things go your way when that happens," said Herron, who lost an equally tough 4-2 decision to the Flames in Pittsburgh last week when the Flames scored two goals in the final two minutes. "Danny Bouchard is a good goalie."
Following his team's 3-0 blanking of the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night, Creighton said he was worried about Friday's game because he thought his team might be looking ahead to Montreal. Following the game, he sounded the same way.
"That was a tough game," he said. "Pittsburgh played very well. I'm just glad to get out with the points."
Maple Leafs 3, Canucks 1
Ron Wilson, Dave Williams and Lanny McDonald supplied the offense and goaltender Paul Harrison back-stopped his outplayed teammates to lead Toronto over Vancouver and within one point of the Adams Divison-leading Boston Bruins.
John (Pie) McKenzie scored two goals and Gordie Howe one to lead New England over Indianapolis, 6-3. Danny Geoffrion, son of "Boom Boom," scored his first professional goal and Real Cloutier popped in his 14th of the year to give Quebec a 3-2, win over Birmingham. Newly acquired Peter Driscoll scored his first Edmonton goal at 6:02 of the overtime to give the Oilers a 4-3 win over Winnipeg.