March 20, 2016

Dryden vs. Dryden

It is March 20th. Something very special happened in NHL history on this date in 1971.

That night marked the first time two brother goaltenders played against each other as Dave Dryden played against his brother Ken Dryden. Ken at the time was a late season rookie call up who would later that year go on to lead the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup.

Buffalo coach Punch Imlach wanted a brother-against-brother match up right from the opening faceoff. His reasoning was that Dave had more NHL experience than Ken, and would give his team an edge against the powerful Habs that night. However Montreal wanted no part of that and started veteran starter Rogie Vachon instead. Upset at Montreal's unwillingness to allow NHL history to happen, Imlach made a late change and started Joe Daley in net instead of Dave.

With the Habs leading 2-0 in the second period, Vachon had to leave the game due to an injury. Of course Ken Dryden had to go into replace the injured veteran. Before the referee could drop the puck to resume the game, Imlach surprised all in the Forum by pulling Daley, and replacing the healthy goalie with Dave Dryden. Finally Imlach, always a showman, had the showdown he wanted from the beginning.

The game ended with Montreal winning 5-2. Ken allowed 2 goals on 13 shots, Dave allowed 3 goals on 20 shots.

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