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A guide to tonight's do-or-die NHL playoff game between Montreal and Boston

The Montreal Canadiens will battle the Bruins in Boston for the right to play the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals. History runs deep between these two original six franchises, with some of the most iconic moments in hockey involving the two. Here is everything you need to know prior to puck drop.

  • Game time 7:00 p.m. ET
  • 34th playoff meeting between the two clubs
  • Ninth time series has gone to a seventh and deciding game
  • Montreal captain Brian Gionta 5' 7", 176 lbs.
  • Boston captain Zdeno Chara 6' 9", 255 lbs.
Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports

Playoff history runs deep between the Bruins and Habs

They have met in the playoffs more than any two teams in North American sports and on Wednesday evening in Boston, the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will battle in Game 7 to determine which team advances to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Of there 34 postseason meetings, this is the ninth time at the series hasn't been decided until Game 7, with the Habs winning five of them.
While Montreal won 24 of those first 33 series – and 18 in a row from 1946 to 1987 – the “Big Bad Bruins” have taken the past two.

2014 series recap

Both the Canadiens and Bruins advanced with ease into the second round. Montreal swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, while the Bruins dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in just five games.
After splitting the first four games of the second-round series, the Bruins, who held the best record in the NHL over the regular season, easily won Game 5 and had a chance to eliminate the Canadiens in Montreal on Monday night. But just as the Bruins dominated in Game 5, the Habs turned the table and beat the Bruins 4-0 to force Game 7.
Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports

Controversy throughout the series

There has been no shortage of storylines through this series. Shortly after P.K. Subban scored in double overtime of Game 1, a few took to Twitter and hurled racist remarks towards Subban. The star defenceman was quick to distance the Bruins organization and the majority of Bruins fans from the despicable remarks.
Subban was again at the centre of a firestorm after Boston's Shawn Thornton squirted water at him during play, late in Game 5. Thornton, who was seen smiling like a cheshire cat shortly afterwards, was fined for his actions.

Battle between the pipes

Montreal's Carey Price and Boston's Tuukka Rask are considered two of the top netminders in the NHL. Rask is the front-runner to win the Vezina trophy as the best goalie in the NHL this year, while Price set career highs in save percentage and goals against average. While there is not much to choose from between the two goalies, Price has faced elimination games four times this year, three times at the Sochi Winter Olympics and Game 6 vs. the Bruins. In those four games Price has allowed just a single goal against.

Lucky anthem singers

Before the puck drops in Boston, anthem singer Rene Rancourt will belt-out the national anthems and end with his trademark fist-pump. Rancourt has been singing anthems before Bruins games for over 35 years. He was even given a Stanley Cup ring after the Bruins championship run in 2011.
Montreal hasn't had a regular anthem singer of note since Roger Doucet in the late 1970's.
That may have changed. Quebec musical icon Ginette Reno was asked to perform the Canadian anthem prior to the Canadiens home opening playoff game vs. Tampa Bay. The Habs responded by scoring just 11 seconds into their Game 3 win. Her legend grew in Game 4 of the series. After finishing O' Canada, Reno shook hands with Montreal forward Daniel Brière. The centre, who had not scored in the series, got the Canadiens off to another quick start with a goal just 2:11 into the first period.
With Reno singing, the Habs are 4-1 during the playoffs this year.
REUTERS/Shaun Best

Game in Boston, but Montreal on high alert

Win or lose, Montreal's downtown has been victimized by rioters on several occasions. In 2010 and 2008 after Canadiens series clinching wins, police were forced to restore order after windows were smashed and cars were burned. The most serious recent even occurred in 1993 after Montreal defeated Los Angleles to capture their 24th Stanley Cup. Nearly 170 people were injured and more than 100 were arrested. The violence caused an estimated $2.5 million in damage.
The Bell Centre in Montreal will show Game 7 on their scoreboard. 20,000-plus lucky fans paid $10, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, for the right to have an arena atmosphere despite the game being played in Boston.

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