Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens – Live Stream, Tips and Stanley Cup Game 7 Preview
The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will bring their epic second-round battle to a close tonight, as they face off in what is sure to be a dramatic game seven in Boston.
The game takes place at the TD Garden and is scheduled to start at 00:00 BST.
The game is streaming live online with bet365.
Watch Canadiens at Bruins live here:
Preview (Series currently tied at 3-3):
LAST GAME – Montreal 4 Boston 0
BRUINS EXPECTED LINES: Lucic – Krejci – Iginla / Marchand – Bergeron – Smith / Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson / Paille – Campbell – Thornton
EXPECTED PAIRINGS: Chara – Hamilton / Bartkowski / Boychuk / Krug – Miller
EXPECTED GOALTENDER: Rask
It’s do-or-die time for the favored Bruins, who come into game seven with one of the more battle-tested cores in the NHL. This is largely the same group that conquered three game sevens en route to a Stanley Cup in 2011, and dispatched of Toronto in similar dramatic fashion in the first round last season. Now, they must overcome their most familiar foe in Montreal, as they aim to return to the conference final for the third time in four seasons.
The Bruins offense was largely a no-show in Monday’s 4-0, as they registered just 26 shots on Habs goaltender Carey Price on the night, including a mere 8 in a third period in which they trailed. Leading the train of misery for the Bruins right now is second line winger Brad Marchand, who has yet to score in 11 games of these playoffs, and has gone three games against Montreal without a point. Marchand’s line, along with center Patrice Bergeron and winger Reilly Smith, has gone quiet over the past three games, with only Smith managing to register a point (goal in game five) in that interim. For a team that relies on balanced scoring throughout the lineup, this simply isn’t good enough.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask has also been surprisingly pedestrian in this series for Boston; whereas he allowed just 6 goals in 5 games against the Red Wings in round one, Rask has already surrendered 16 in the six games of this one, and setting aside his game four shutout, has been the lesser of two goaltender in the series. Much like they did in their Cup run of 2011, the Bruins rely heavily on goaltending to be successful; they will need Rask to come through huge on Wednesday night, if they are to keep their championship hopes alive.
CANADIENS EXPECTED LINES: Pacioretty – Desharnais – Vanek / Bournival – Plekanec – Gallagher / Bourque – Eller – Gionta / Moen – Briere – Weise
EXPECTED PAIRINGS: Gorges – Subban / Markov – Emelin / Beaulieu – Weaver
EXPECTED GOALTENDER: Price
The underdog Montreal Canadiens have managed to go punch-for-punch with the Bruins throughout their dramatic seven game series, and they will look to complete the upset on Wednesday night, as they head back to the lion’s den of T.D. Garden for one final clash.
Though defenseman P.K. Subban gets all of the press for his brash on-ice antics and bold off-ice conjecture, goaltender Carey Price has been the steadying force that has guided the team to success through the first two rounds of these playoffs. Price had a brilliant 26 save performance on Monday night, making key early saves to keep the Bruins off the board, and more importantly, stay momentum for the Habs. Price has also faced a pressure-packed ‘must-win’ scenario a few times already this year; his play as the starting goaltender for Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics, including in the Gold Medal game, was the stuff legends are made of. And now, he has the chance to do the same for the club, and send Montreal to their first conference final since 2010.
One under-documented storyline from game six was the re-emergence of the Habs first line, specifically big wingers Max Pacioretty and Thomas Vanek. Pacioretty had been maligned in the media for his inability to score in these playoffs (1 goal in 9 games prior to game six); but his 2-0 marker midway through the second game at a critical juncture for the Habs, and showed that he can still be a catalyst in these playoffs. Vanek, meanwhile, had a two goal night, and appeared to be engaged in the play again, after going pointless in the preceding two games. It is up to the duo, along with center David Desharnais, to lead the offensive charge for the Canadiens once again.
BOTTOM LINE: Simple logic suggests that this Bruins team, led by so many core players who have been in this situation innumerable times before, should come out on top. After all, they were the best team in the league in the regular season, have the best goalie in the world, maybe the best defenseman in the world, and balanced scoring. They were consensus Stanley Cup favorites at the onset of the playoffs for a reason.
But there is also a reason to believe in these plucky Habs. Of all the teams in the league, Montreal seems to know how to play Boston the best. They’ve been the better team on the whole in this series, and need only bring the same effort to bear in game seven as they did in game six to be successful. And they’ve got Price, who finally looks like the all-World goaltender he was predicted to be when they drafted him in 2005. They won’t be anybody’s favorites heading into game seven, but they are a team that should inspire all the confidence in the world.