Now, after completely dominating the Boston Bruins in Games 6 and
7 of their second-round playoff series, the Habs have a chance to
end the drought. They made it to the league's final four for the
first time since 2010 -- and for only the second time since the 1993
"We just beat the best team in the league," coach Michel Therrien
said after his Canadiens beat the Bruins 3-1 Wednesday and advanced
to meet the New York Rangers in another Original Six matchup.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals is Saturday afternoon in
"Any time you're moving onto the conference finals, it feels good,"
said defenseman P.K. Subban, a true force in the series. "When you
think about it, you have an opportunity to get one step closer to
the Stanley Cup.
"We deserve it. We played hard. Nothing has come easy for us all
year. We've worked hard for everything we've gotten. As a player,
when you hear some of the things that are said and the way people
have disrespected us both on and off the ice, I'm happy for this
Carey Price made 29 saves, and right winger Dale Wiese, left winger
Max Pacioretty and center Daniel Briere scored goals for the
Canadiens on Wednesday.
Montreal stayed alive with a 4-0 home win in Game 6 and had the
better jump in their step from the outset of Game 7.
The Canadiens finished 17 points behind the Presidents'
Trophy-winning Bruins in the regular season.
"We were just tenacious the whole series," said Price, who was
brilliant throughout. "We didn't give up at any point. We laid it
all on the line."
After the game, Bruins left winger Milan Lucic apparently made
threats to Wiese and defenseman Alexei Emelin in the handshake line.
Wiese relayed that to the media, and Lucic was upset that he did.
Lucic and Emelin went at it all season. Hard feelings, but the
Canadiens still paid tribute to the Bruins, who were seeking their
second Stanley Cup and third trip to the finals in four years.
"Listen, I've got nothing but respect for that team," Subban said.
"There's a reason they won the Stanley Cup a couple of years ago and
they finished with the best record in the league and they won the
Presidents' Trophy. They're a great team, but you do what you can to
Boston coach Claude Julien pointed to his younger players
(especially on defense, where the Bruins missed injured veteran
Dennis Seidenberg) being tight in Game 7.
"We had a great season, and we did a lot of good things," he said.
"When you look at the whole picture, it's a lot brighter than the
Added Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, "I would lie to you if I say it's
not disappointing, especially after the season we had."
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Briere, who set up the Wiese goal, put the game away when his late
power-play centering pass hit Chara's skate and deflected past
goaltender Tuukka Rask.
Right winger Jarome Iginla scored the lone Bruins goal, cutting a
2-0 Montreal lead in half late in the second period. Iginla had
several chances in the third but couldn't score.
"It's really tough. It's really disappointing," Bruins left winger
Brad Marchand said. "We expected to go all the way this year. It's
hard to put into words."
It took the Canadiens just 2:18 to quiet the loud crowd. Montreal
won a puck chase in the corner, left winger Brandon Prust getting
the puck to Briere and Briere finding Wiese's stick in the crease.
The lead was significant because the team scoring first won all 13
previous second-round games in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The teams exchanged goals in the second period.
Pacioretty, who made it 2-0, has two goals and two assists in a
three-game scoring streak.
The Canadiens, who won a Game 7 in Boston for the third time in
their history, won the season series from the Rangers 2-1, but there
were only four goals scored by the two teams in the three games.
NOTES: Boston G Tuukka Rask made 15 saves. ... In anticipation of
possible postgame problems and with Montreal police also on alert,
the Boston police shut down all street parking near TD Garden
between 7 and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. ... Before Carey Price did it on
Wednesday night, the only Montreal goalies to win a Game 7 in Boston
were Ken Dryden (1971) and Jose Theodore (2004). Theodore's 2-0 Game
7 shutout came with current Bruins coach Claude Julien behind the
Montreal bench. ... Montreal RW Brendan Gallagher on the Bell Centre
being sold out for the Game 7 watch party: "I probably shouldn't be
surprised, but I still am." The 21,000 available tickets sold out in
two hours. ... Former Bruins star Ray Bourque was the team's
honorary Game 7 flag captain. ... Boston RW Jarome Iginla's goal was
his fourth in five career Game 7s. ... Detroit Tigers P Justin
Verlander and his girlfriend, actress/model Kate Upton, were at the
game, as was Tigers RHP Joba Chamberlain. The Tigers flew in after a
day game in Baltimore to play the Boston Red Sox over the weekend.
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