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Real NHL Montreal beats Boston 3-1 Advances to Conference Finals

Canadiens Celebrate on the bench in TD Gardens after ousting Bruins in game 7
Canadiens Celebrate on the bench in TD Gardens after ousting Bruins in game 7
Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

In a winner take all game 7, Montreal brought the same speed game that defined their game 6 win and it was simply too much for Boston to handle. The Canadiens got on the board early at 2:18 of the first on a quick play when Brier fired a cross-ice pass from the corner to a charging Wiese, Bruin defenders failed to pick up. Wiese made no mistake and simply directed the puck by a stunned Rask and an equal shocked and suddenly quiet crowd at the TD Garden in Boston.

The Habs carried much of the play on the night save for a few stretches in the second and third by jumping all over Boston at every opportunity. Despite being out shot by the Bruins every period, Price was in gold medal Olympic form stopping 29 of 30 shots on the night while Rask managed only 15 saves on 18 shots.

The biggest surprise in the series was not the Canadiens edge in speed but that they were able to match the Bruins physically despite being a much smaller team. As has been the case most nights, the Habs matched the Bruins in the physicality department and this night registered 35, exactly the same number as the Bruins. Clearly the Canadiens can handle the physical play which bodes well should they survive the Rangers in which case they will have to face one of Chicago, L.A. or the Ducks for the Stanley Cup.

It was almost as if the Bruins realized going in that if the Canadiens came at them with the same speed and intensity they brought in game 6, there would be nothing they could do, no last minute heroics, no late game come back and indeed there was not and the Bruins are out.

The Canadiens went up by two goals midway through the second on a beautiful goal by Pacioretty who took a cross-ice pass from Desharnais and buried it past Rask who was quick to get across however the perfectly placed one-timer found the top of the net. In truth, Rask had no chance.

Iginla finally responded for Boston later in the second to make a game of it. The Bruins followed up in the third with sustained pressure at times but could not break through the Canadiens defence. At 17:07 of the third, Gallagher got a lucky bounce of a Boston defender’s skate to score the Habs third goal that sealed the victory giving Montreal a Conference final date with the New York Rangers.

That series goes Saturday with Montreal having home ice advantage. In the final two games with the series on the line, the Habs outscored the Bruins 7 – 1 to put an exclamation point on what has been the best series by far in terms of sheer entertainment value.

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