There are already three Game 7s in the first round of the NHL playoffs this year, but the Montreal Canadiens will be desperately hoping to force a fourth tonight against the Boston Bruins.
As per usual, it'll be Carey Price in goal for the Habs and Tim Thomas for the Bruins. The Canadiens are expected to be missing centre David Desharnais while defenceman James Wisniewski is a maybe.
And how's this for drama: If Montreal wins, Game 7 will go less than 24 hours later tomorrow night in Boston.
Live blog will begin below, with latest item at the top:
9:39: End of game: 2-1 Montreal. Here comes Game 7. This was a bit of a wild one to start off with so many penalty calls, including the five-minute major to Lucic, which may have been the turning point. But full credit to the Canadiens for capitalizing on their chances and shutting things down late when they had to. Cammalleri and Price were terrific and that was enough. (Canucks-Blackhawks starts in 20 minutes and we'll have another thread for that game.)
9:37: Another big save by Price, this time on David Krejci in close while shorthanded. One minute to go in the man advantage. Two left in the game.
9:34: After two minutes of terrific pressure from the Bruins, Chris Kelly takes a highsticking penalty on Travis Moen, giving Montreal a power play with just 3:10 left. The Canadiens can put the game away here.
9:32: Five minutes to go now and the Habs continue to hold on.
9:22: Ten minutes left in regulation and Boston running out of time. They're out shooting Montreal 8-3 in this period but need higher quality chances to beat Price.
9:16: Sounds like the Lucic game misconduct is going to be one of the big talking points after the game, so here's another thought on the hit: Given these are the same two referees as in Game 6 in Buffalo when Mike Richards' hit from behind put Tim Connolly out for the series, perhaps they wanted to come down harder on a similar infraction? Richards received only a two minute minor in a bit of a controversial call and the Sabres lost that game (and it looks like the series).
9:10: Good pressure from the Bruins so far in the period, but the Habs are shutting things down fairly well. Going to come down to one mistake. Have to imagine no one wants a long overtime tonight given Game 7 is schedule for 22 hours from now in Boston.
9:06: Price starts the third with a big save.
8:47: End of the second. Shots are even at 21 and both teams have had four power plays. Difference is Montreal has scored on two of theirs and Boston still has a donut on the man advantage for the series (!).
8:45: Bob Cole with the play-by-play call of the night: "Everything is happening." It sure is.
8:45: Brad Marchand hits the post on a glorious chance after Chara threaded a pass through the crease. Close call for Montreal.
8:42: Nathan Horton for slashing. Bruins to the box.
8:40: And yet another penalty on the Habs. Might be a new record for minors by the time we're finished tonight.
8:39: Boston falls to 0 for 18 on the man advantage. Ugly.
8:35: Too many men on the ice for Montreal, so another chance for the Bruins here.
8:32: Bruins' power play falls to 0 for 17 in the series. Tomas Kaberle has really not helped any on the man advantage, as they're really struggling. This could be one of the main reasons they lose the series, if that's what happens.
8:28: And now Boston heads on the power play, with Roman Hamrlik heading off for well deserved interference call. Penalty filled game.
8:21: 2-1 Montreal. The Habs go back to Cammalleri's big one-timer, and while Thomas stops the initial shot, they get a couple whacks at it and Gionta gets the goal. Game has been a mess from the Bruins' perspective with all of these penalties.
8:19: Sixteen seconds after Lucic is tossed, Bergeron flips a puck over the glass while killing the major penalty, which means another lengthy 5-on-3 for Montreal. Wow.
8:15: Jaroslav Spacek is down and has the trainer attending to him after a big hit from behind from Milan Lucic, who gets thrown out of the game on the play. Spacek doesn't look very good. The seamless glass at the Bell Centre is pretty unforgiving.
8:09: 1-1. Second period starts with some 4-on-4 and Boston capitalizes just 48 seconds in. Seidenberg, who has been jumping into the play often tonight, gets the 1-1 goal on a wraparound that Price likely should have had. Tough play.
7:50: End of the first. Montreal has to be happy with the first 20 minutes, even with the disallowed goal that should have counted.
7:49: Another penalty on the Bruins nixes the power play, as Patrice Bergeron gets an interference call. I'm not sure where the penalty was there.
7:49: Andrei Kostitsyn goes off for hooking with 21 seconds left in the first period, giving the Bruins a chance to tie things up.
7:39: Eller's back and puts a good chance off of Thomas' mask and out of play.
7:31: 1-0 Montreal. Mike Cammalleri hammers in a one-timer for the game's first goal, capitalizing on the two-man advantage. Huge goal after Gionta's wasn't counted. Subban and Plekanec get assists. Ten minutes to go in the first period.
7:29: Now it's a 5-on-3 after Dennis Seidenberg goes off for tripping. And it'll be a long one.
7:28: Too many men on the ice for the Bruins, giving the Habs the game's first power play. Big opportunity here.
7:25: These are the same two officials who reffed Game 6 in Buffalo on Sunday. I wasn't a huge fan of some of the calls made there either. We'll see how this one goes.
7:22: Eller's left the bench. He's played well in limited minutes for Montreal in this series.
7:15: And we have a controversy already, three and a half minutes in: Canadiens captain Brian Gionta picks up a rebound off Thomas and puts it in, but referee Kevin Pollock mistakenly blew the play down too early. No goal, bringing on a few minutes of booing at the Bell Centre. Ugly way to start.
7:13: Habs centre Lars Eller goes down hard and is slow getting up and off to the bench.
6:56: After taking the warm-up, Wisniewski is in fact out. Paul Mara takes his place in what is a considerable downgrade. "The Wiz" has been playing in the Habs' top four, averaging 21:34 minutes per game.Report Typo/Error