P.K. Subban

Discover ‘Road to the Cup’: Montreal Canadiens

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The Montreal Canadiens hold a special distinction in Canada — they’re the last of the seven Canadian teams to have captured the Stanley Cup, defeating the Los Angeles Kings in 1993.

This year, they’re looking to bring Lord Stanley’s Mug back across the 49th parallel.

Montreal currently finds itself down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference Final to the New York Rangers, but has shown great resiliency in getting to this point — suggesting they won’t go down to the Blueshirts without a fight.

Let’s take a look at how the Habs got here…

Round 1: Beat Tampa Bay 4-0

Montreal scored the lone sweep of the ’14 playoffs (thus far) by dispatching of a Tampa Bay team that actually finished ahead of the Canadiens in the Atlantic Division standings, and held home-ice advantage in Round 1. The big key to the Habs’ opening-round win was goaltending — specifically, Tampa Bay’s lack of it. With Bolts starter Ben Bishop unable to go due to an elbow injury, Anders Lindback was forced into No. 1 duties and struggled mightily, surrendering 14 goals over the four games and twice getting yanked in favor of Kristers Gudlevskis.

Offensively, the Habs were paced by Rene Bourque (three goals) and Lars Eller (five points) in what proved to be an easy four-game broom job of the Bolts.

Round 2: Beat Boston 4-3

In one of the most exciting series to date, the Habs dispatched of their longtime rivals thanks in large part to the stellar play of Carey Price. His 48-save masterpiece in double-OT of Game 1 was one of the finest efforts of his career, but he’ll largely be remembered for clutch performances in elimination situations in Games 6 and 7, when he allowed just one goal on a combined 56 shots, winning the final game in TD Garden in front of a silenced Bruins crowd.

Price wasn’t the only Canadien to come up big against the Bruins, however. After struggling through most of the series, Max Pacioretty — who finished fourth in the NHL in goals this year, with 39 — came alive in Games 6 and 7, scoring three points (which included the game-winning goal in Game 7.) Montreal also got great production from defenseman P.K. Subban throughout the series, as he finished with seven points in seven games.

Of course, many of the good vibes from Montreal’s opening two rounds were wiped out when Price was hurt in Game 1 of the Rangers series, and ruled out for the remainder of the Eastern Conference Final. If the Habs are going to show the same resiliency they displayed in the Boston series, they’ll need 24-year-old replacement goalie Dustin Tokarski to show up on the big stage, starting with tonight’s affair at MSG.

WATCH LIVE: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens (Game 2)

Francis Bouillon, Derek Dorsett,
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It’s the Montreal Canadiens hosting the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. You can watch the game — starting at 8 p.m. ET — on NBCSN, or via NBC’s Live Extra Stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Your relevant linkage for tonight’s big game:

Report: No Brassard for Rangers tonight

Reports: Tokarski starting for Habs

Habs need to put Game 1, Price injury, and Boston series behind them

Kreider wishes he scored instead of injuring Price

Price out for rest of series; Therrien calls Kreider play ‘reckless’

WATCH LIVE: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens (Game 1)

New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens
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It’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final from Bell Centre in Montreal. A spot in the Stanley Cup Final is on the line in this series and for both teams it would be their first trip back since the 1990s.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Montreal hasn’t been in the Stanley Cup Final since 1993 and for New York it was 1994. Those trips each resulted in winning hockey’s ultimate prize for both teams. The first step towards trying to recapture that glory begins today.

Read our preview of Game 1 here.

WATCH LIVE: Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins (Game 7)

Zdeno Chara,  Travis Moen
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Not much to say here other than it’s a huge, huge game.

Puck drops at 7 p.m. on NBCSN, but feel free to watch via NBC’s Live Extra stream as well.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Relevant linkage for tonight’s game:

Video: Remembering the last time the Bruins and Habs played Game 7

Montreal sells out Bell Centre for Game 7

Julien would be ‘very surprised’ if Seidenberg plays Game 7

Your Boston-Montreal Game 7 officials are…

Get your Game 7 notes: Habs at Bruins

Video: PHT Extra — KIL line needs to get going

WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens (Game 6)

Loui Eriksson, Carey Price
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Only one Canadian team made it to the playoffs and that squad is now one loss away from eliminated.

The Canadiens had a 2-1 series lead over Boston with Game 4 in Montreal, but Tuukka Rask stood tall in that critical contest and Bruins forward Matt Fraser was the unlikely overtime hero in his first career playoff game.

That goal shifted the momentum of this series as Boston came out strong in Game 5. Taking advantage of their power-play opportunities, they had a 3-0 lead early in the second period. Montreal rallied back a little, but never got within one goal of the Bruins after that point.

With Montreal fighting for its campaign, two guys to keep an eye on are Canadiens forwards Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. The duo has been lackluster offensively in the postseason and Montreal will have a hard time winning back-to-back games against a team like Boston unless they break out of their respective droughts.

The game will start at 7:30 p.m. ET and air on NBCSN. You can also stream it online:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Related:

Video: Bruins’ Thornton sprays Habs’ Subban with water during play