Game 7s are old hat for Bruins, Canadiens
Montreal has captured 5 of previous 7 do-or-die playoff games between rivals
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins are certainly used to facing each other in Game 7.
Another do-or-die showdown may be easier for the Canadiens to stomach.
In the eighth all-time Game 7 between the bitter Original Six rivals, the Canadiens look to continue thriving when faced with elimination while the Bruins attempt to avoid faltering again in the ultimate playoff contest Wednesday at Boston (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 6:30 p.m. ET).
Montreal and Boston have faced off in more Game 7s than any other opponents in NHL history, with the Canadiens winning five of seven, including the last two (2004 and 2008).
They also reached the Eastern Conference final a year ago as the eighth seed, upsetting Washington and Pittsburgh in seven games.
The Bruins haven't enjoyed the same success since ousting Montreal in Game 7 of the first round of the 1994 playoffs, losing the last four series that reached the finale.
Each of Boston's last three seasons ended in Game 7, and the last two were at home. Last year's heartbreak may have been the most devastating, as the Bruins squandered a 3-0 series lead and a three-goal first-period advantage in Game 7 in losing to Philadelphia.
Boston had a chance to close out the Canadiens in Game 6 on Tuesday, but lost 2-1 after winning the previous three games.
"It's win or you're done," Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said. "If we play the same way we did to win the three, we'll win the fourth." Montreal, though, is 6-1 when facing elimination since the start of last season's playoffs.
"We've got to saddle up and do it again," said Carey Price, who had 31 saves Tuesday and owns a 1.85 goals-against average in the series.
Any success on the power play could provide the difference for the Bruins.
The unit has failed to score on 19 power plays in this series, and has scored on just six of 80 chances (7.5 per cent) over the last 29 games overall. No team has won a playoff series without scoring a power-play goal since Anaheim swept Detroit in the first round in 2003.
Montreal, on the other hand, netted both goals Tuesday with a 5-on-3 advantage, giving them four power-play goals in the series.
"The power play's been struggling and they won the game because of that, because of their power play," said Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, who has two goals and four assists in the series. "We've got to find a way and bear down."
Production from Milan Lucic would certainly help. The 30-goal scorer is still searching for his first goal in this series, and saw his Game 6 end early when he was assessed a game misconduct and boarding major for a hit on Jaroslav Spacek.
That hit accounted for 15 of the Bruins' series-high 27 penalty minutes.
"We have to stay disciplined, stay away from the penalty box like we talked about at the beginning of the series," coach Claude Julien said on the Bruins' official Twitter feed.
While Boston tries to avoid another disappointing end to its season, Montreal's Mike Cammalleri looks to continue his prolific post-season scoring.
Cammalleri had a goal and set up Brian Gionta's game-winner in the second period Tuesday, giving him three goals and six assists in the series.
He was one of the major reasons Montreal reached the East finals last season, leading the club with 13 goals and 19 points in 19 playoff games.
A Canadiens win in Game 7 would give them a rematch with top-seeded Washington in the next round, while Boston would get a chance for revenge against Philadelphia.
"It's a Game 7. We have to get ready for that … We have to approach it like the most important game," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said.