The teams last met eight years before in the 1951 Semi-finals which the Leafs won 4 games to 1. Harry Lumley and Johnny Bower played all seven games in net. Former Bruin Gerry Ehman was the series scoring leader with 9 points for the Leafs with linemates Frank Mahovlich and Billy Harris while the Bruins line of Don McKenney, Fleming Mackell and Jerry Toppazzini led Boston. The series was very close and the loss of star defenseman Doug Mohns to a knee injury in Game 3 (he returned in Game 7) tipped the scales. The Leafs won twice in overtime and scored a late goal in Game 7 to prevail.
Game 2 at Boston was a penalty-filled game as the Leafs tried to assert themselves. After the Leafs took three penalties, Fleming Mackell put the Bruins up at 10:00 of the first period. Carl Brewer then took a tripping penalty and Mackell scored on the power play. Dick Duff cut the lead to 2-1 going into the second period. A little over three minutes in, a wild melee developed with Bert Olmstead and Jean-Guy Gendron throwing haymakers at each other. Ron Stewart tied the game up five minutes later. In the third period, Boston killed off two straight penalties before Dick Duff was called for tripping Vic Stasiuk at 13:42. Stasiuk nearly scored on a solo rush during the power play. Seconds after Duff stepped back on the ice, Leo Labine dug the puck out from the right boards and backhanded a pass to Gendron to the left of the net. His one-timer beat Bower for a 3-2 lead. With a minute left, Tim Horton made a pass from behind his net to center ice. Bower vacated the net but the pass was intercepted by Bob Armstrong. He fired wide to the right side of the open net but it bounced off the boards and Labine tapped it in for a 4-2 Bruins win.
Game 3 at Maple Leaf Gardens saw early penalties which resulted in a 4 on 3 power play for Boston. Vic Stasiuk scored at 2:43 on the power play before Bob Pulford tied it up at 16:21. In the second period, Bower stopped Don McKenney on a breakaway and made a glove save on a 2 on 1 when Larry Leach fired for the top right corner. The Leafs pressed but Lumley made several incredible saves including a rebound by Gerry Ehman that the referee had to check with the goal judge to ensure it wasn't in. The Bruins killed off a hooking penalty to Leo Labine but lost Doug Mohns to a leg injury for the next three games. John Bucyk intercepted a clearing pass from Allan Stanley and a three-way passing play between him, Jim Morrison and Vic Stasiuk resulted in Stasiuk sliding the puck under Bower for a 2-1 Boston lead. The teams traded chances in the third period. With less than three minutes left, a Jerry Toppazzini give-away in the Bruins end resulted in Billy Harris passing to Tim Horton on the right boards. He passed to Ehman in the slot who spun and fired a low shot past Lumley to send the game into overtime. Bower stopped close in chances by Toppazzini and Bucyk with poke checks. In the Leafs zone, Vic Stasiuk passed to the right point but the puck was picked up by Bill Harris. Frank Mahovlich drove for the net, distracting Jim Morrison. Harris passed to Ehman on the right wing whose shot beat Lumley to the stick side for a 3-2 Leafs win.
Game 4 at Toronto was a wide-open, penalty-filled game in which 17 infractions were called. With Fern Flaman in the box for tripping, Gerry Ehman scored his fourth goal of the series on the power play at 6:58 of the first period. After a scoreless second period, Jerry Toppazzini tied it up at 2:02 of the third period only for Brian Cullen to score less than a minute later. Bronco Horvath potted his first of the series to send the game into overtime. With Jean-Guy Gendron in the box for cross-checking, Frank Mahovlich scored his first of the series at 11:21 for a 3-2 Leafs win to even the series 2-2.
Game 5 at Boston saw the Bruins outshoot the Leafs 32-22 but Bower's play made the difference. Goals by Bert Olmstead, Dick Duff, Frank Mahovlich and Bob Pulford staked Toronto to a 4-0 lead before Jerry Toppazzini scored a consolation goal at 11:25 of the third period. With a 4-1 win, the Leafs took a 3-2 lead in the series going back home.
Game 6 at Toronto was a clean game with the fewest penalties in the series. After Jerry Toppazzini scored on the power play with Bert Olmstead in the box, Don McKenney made it 2-0 Boston a few minutes later. Olmstead then scored on a 5 on 3 power play with Stasiuk and Mackell in the box for a 2-1 Boston lead at the end of the first period. Frank Mahovlich tied it up 3:50 into the second period before John Bucyk scored twice for a 4-2 Bruins lead at the end of the second period. After several icing calls against Boston early in the third period, a Frank Mahovlich rush was broken up in the Bruins zone. Billy Harris retrieved the puck and passed it to Tim Horton, who narrowly kept it in the zone. His backhand into the slot was picked up by Gerry Ehman whose backhand shot beat Lumley low to the stick side, cutting the Bruins lead to 4-3. Lumley then stopped Bill Harris on a breakaway before the teams played four aside with Mahovlich and Mackell in the box. Carl Brewer then took a high sticking penalty giving Boston a 4 on 3 power play. Bower stopped a shot by Jim Morrison and the Bruins had difficulty getting the puck. Stasiuk finally retrieved it and rushed into the Leafs zone. Mahovlich stepped out of the box, stripped Stasiuk of the puck and rushed down the right side. Lumley stopped his shot but he rounded the net and shot the rebound in to tie the game 4-4. With a little over seven minutes left in the game, Leo Boivin rushed up the ice, deked past two Leafs and his cross ice pass found Stasiuk in the slot. His slap shot was deflected in by Bronco Horvath to make it 5-4 Boston. The Bruins forechecked very well for the remainder of the game allowing few Leafs entries into their zone. Bower tried to leave the net with a minute left but was forced to play the puck at the blue line and it was nearly stolen by McKenney. Bower then stopped Mackell on a breakaway and couldn't leave the net for an extra attacker until there was 30 seconds left in the game which ended with no further score and the series tied 3-3.
Game 7 at Boston saw Doug Mohns return to action after missing three games. The teams traded power plays goals by Vic Stasiuk and Larry Regan in a penalty-filled first period (11 were called, with a fight between Stasiuk and Bobby Baun). Several minutes into the second period, Harry Lumley was hit in the face by a Dick Duff shot. Play went on until Lumley froze the puck. The game was delayed for over 30 minutes while Lumley received medical treatment. He returned to play with 7 stitches to his upper lip and 2 teeth knocked out. No penalties were called in the period and both teams had spates of prolonged pressure. A face-off in the Bruins zone saw the puck cleared just past the blueline. Leo Boivin beat two Leafs to the puck, rushed into the Leafs zone, shifted left and beat Bower to the short side to make it 2-1 Boston. In the third period, after several Bruins chances, Bob Pulford dumped the puck in on Lumley. He saved it but missed clearing the rebound and Pulford smacked it past Lumley. As the Bruins pressed, McKenney missed a pass from Mackell in the Leafs. Brewer headmanned the puck to Mahovlich who drew both Bruins defensemen to him. He passed to Ehman on the right wing who fired it home low to Lumley's stick side at 17:27. Larry Regan was called for tripping 14 seconds later. On the power play, Stasiuk had a great chance to the right side of the net but Bower smothered his shot. Lumley was pulled for the extra attacker with 30 seconds left and a face-off in the Leafs zone. Pulford won the face-off and fired the puck into the Bruins zone. The Bruins managed to get the puck back into the Leafs zone but a great play by Allan Stanley saw him clear it again and time ran out. The Leafs won 3-2 and took the series.
Two minutes of video from the October 18, 1958 Toronto-Boston game showing Leo Boivin hitting the post and then a scrap between Bronco Horvath and Bert Olmstead who later sit in the penalty box together.
NHL Oct. 18, 1958 Bert Olmstead,TOR v Bronco Horvath,BOS (almost) Toronto Maple Leafs Boston Bruins
Over two hours of footage of Game 7 of the 1959 Bruins-Leafs Semi-finals starting in the second period. Several minutes into the second period, Harry Lumley is hit in the face by a Dick Duff shot. Play goes on until Lumley freezes the puck. The game is stopped for over 30 minutes while Lumley is repaired and to fill the time, interviews are held with Gordie Howe, Tom Foley (broadcaster), Ed Chadwick, Johnny Gagnon, Spencer Evans (Leafs publicity director) and Roger Barry (Boston hockey writer). Lumley returned to play with 7 stitches to his upper lip and 2 teeth knocked out.
1959 Stanley Cup Semi Final Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins Game 7