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Dryden's No. 29 retired by Canadiens

NHL.com @NHL

MONTREAL (AP) -Ken Dryden struck the pose he made so famous in the crease one more time as the Montreal Canadiens bestowed their biggest honor upon him.

The 6-foot-4 goalie showed the look: hands crossed in front of his face, resting his arms on the goal stick.

"Watching, waiting, not doing anything," Dryden said to the sold-out Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 on Monday night. "That was pretty much what the 1970s was all about. That and a whole bunch of Stanley Cups."

For that, Dryden's No. 29 was raised to the rafters alongside other Canadiens greats.

Accompanied by his wife, two children and his first grandchild, the six-time Stanley Cup champion also had his older brother, Dave Dryden, and Russian legend Vladislav Tretiak - his two favorite goalies - on hand for the ceremony.

The Canadiens then did their part after the hourlong festivities by beating the Ottawa Senators 3-1.

After winning all six regular-season games he played when he was called up in March 1971, Dryden led Montreal to a stunning first-round playoff upset of the Big Bad Boston Bruins of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito.

Bolstered by his unexpectedly sensational goaltending, the Canadiens went on to win an improbable Stanley Cup. Dryden backstopped four straight Stanley Cup championships at the end of the decade and his career - during his Canadiens career from 1970-79.

Dryden, now a federal politician who recently mounted a failed bid to lead the national Liberal Party, was 258-57-74 with 46 shutouts and a 2.24 goals-against-average in 397 regular season games.

He won 80 of 112 playoff games, including 10 shutouts, while maintaining a 2.40 GAA in the postseason.

Tretiak flew from Moscow at Dryden's invitation and told the crowd his former opponent was "a fantastic goalie and great man."

The Hall of Fame goalies squared off in a pair of unforgettable international matchups: Team Canada's win over the Soviets in a landmark eight-game series in September 1972, and a New Year's Eve game three years later between the Canadiens and the Soviet Red Army team that ended in a 3-3 tie at the Forum.

Tretiak, wearing a red CCCP jersey with his familiar No. 20, drew a huge cheer when he greeted the crowd in French before briefly speaking in English on Monday.

"I wish you health, happiness and good luck," Tretiak told Dryden, before the goaltending greats embraced.

Dave Dryden, Ken's older brother, also addressed the crowd. The elder Dryden stepped onto the red carpet with a replica of the No. 28 Buffalo Sabres jersey he wore in a history-making game against Montreal on March 20, 1971, when the goaltending brothers became the first to face each other in an NHL game, just as they had so many times in the backyard.

"It wasn't ball hockey anymore," Dave Dryden said. "It was me at one end and Ken at the other end of the Montreal Forum."

That game ended with them shaking hands at center ice.

"It just seemed like it was the right thing to do," said Dave Dryden, before re-enacting the scene again with his little brother.

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