It took three years before Claude Pronovost got to play his second game. He certainly wasn't a bad goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens kept him under contract during that time. Yet, there may have been some bad feeling about the shutout he fashioned in his first NHL start.
The problem was that it came against his own team and it all happened because of a pair of skates. Pronovost, a diehard Red Wings fan, was the practice goaltender for the Canadiens and was on standby when the Boston Bruins came to town on January 14, 1956. The Bruins were without their regular goaltender, Terry Sawchuk, due to an injury, and had intended to use their backup, Long John Henderson. The only problem was that Henderson's size 13 skates did not arrive with him. Milt Schmidt, the Bruins coach, tried to get Gerry McNeil to fill in but was refused in his attempt. That left Claude Pronovost, younger brother of Marcel, to fill in between the pipes. Pronovost proceeded to shut down the some of the best players in the game over the next sixty minutes. In the first period Leo Boivin gave the Bruins the lead. Lorne Ferguson added an insurance goal in the second. By the end of the game, the young backstop had blocked the 31 shots directed his way and had even killed off his own penalty in the third period.
Three years later he got his second chance to play in the National Hockey League when the Canadiens were blown out at home by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Habs, losing 5-1, put Pronovost in net for the third period on February 5, 1959. Pronovost's shutout streak ended at 68:27 when Frank Mahovlich put the rubber past him. The Canadiens lost the game 6-3. Claude Pronovost's second, and last, start came toward the end of the season when Jacques Plante came down with a mysterious ailment. He lasted two periods before being pulled in favor of Claude Cyr. The loss contributed to the elimination of his beloved Red Wings. Pronovost played for four more seasons before retiring.