Montreal sells out Bell Centre for Game 7


Even though tonight’s Game 7 between the Bruins and Canadiens is being played at TD Garden, the Bell Centre will still be rocking.

The Habs have sold out their barn — all 21,273 seats — for Wednesday’s win-or-go-home contest, according to NHL.com. The game will be played on the Bell Centre scoreboard video screen, much like it was four years ago when the Canadiens made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Canadiens did the same thing for the two seventh games they played in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the reaction was just as enthusiastic; the game sold out in less than two hours at $10 a ticket.

“I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am,” Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said. “It’s just the passion that comes with the Montreal Canadiens fans.

“Obviously we care a lot in this room, but they care a lot as well about the logo and the history and everything that comes with it.”

Tonight’s contest is the ninth Game 7 between Boston and Montreal in 34 all-time playoff series. Montreal holds a 5-3 edge in wins but the Bruins are 3-2 all-time at home, which includes the 2011 opening round in which Nathan Horton scored in OT to send Boston onto Round 2.

Your Boston-Montreal Game 7 officials are…

NHL referees

The officiating crew for tonight’s huge Game 7 at TD Garden will be comprised of referees Dave Jackson and Dan O’Rourke, along with linesmen Shane Heyer and Brad Kovachik.

Some notes about the zebras…

— This is the second game of the series for Jackson and O’Rourke, having previously called Game 2,  a 5-3 Bruins win. The game was a testy affair which saw three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, one for abusive language (from the B’s bench) and an opening period that saw both teams combine for eight minors.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien wasn’t thrilled with how the game was called, per the Boston Globe:

But it was also very rare to see Julien, typically the picture of reserve, get all huffed up during a game, to the point he was slapped with that minor penalty. The Habs had just moved ahead, 2-1, on the first of two Thomas Vanek strikes, the first of his two power-play strikes, and Julien grew a little too pointed with the referees (Dave Jackson and Dan O’Rourke).

Penalty, two minutes: uncoachmanlike conduct.

“The referee . . . ” explained Julien, not naming which referee, “ . . . I kind of told him I didn’t agree with his calls.”

— Jackson and O’Rourke have worked one Game 7 already this postseason (L.A.’s 5-1 win over San Jose). That one was a relatively muted affair; there were no penalties called in the first period and just nine all game, four of which were hooking calls.

— O’Rourke was one of four referees chosen to call the 2012 Stanley Cup Final between Los Angeles and New Jersey; Jackson is one of the league’s most veteran officials, having broke in during the 1990-91 season and calling his first playoff game in ’99. Jackson was also chosen to officiate games for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Canadiens’ Beaulieu will make career playoff debut tonight

Nathan Beaulieu

Boston Bruins forward Matt Fraser played in his first career postseason game on Thursday and ended up scoring the game-winning goal in overtime. With their backs against the wall, the Montreal Canadiens have to hope that 21-year-old defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will be at least respectable.

Like Fraser before him, Beaulieu will be making his NHL playoff debut tonight. The difference is that the stakes are even higher now as Montreal is down 3-2 in the second round series.

Beaulieu has 23 games worth of regular season experience and has four assists over that span. He also had seven goals and 27 points in 57 contests with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs in 2013-14.

He’s projected to play alongside Mike Weaver, per the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa. Douglas Murray has been scratched after logging just 10:03 minutes in Game 5 on Saturday.

Update: Montreal has also confirmed that Daniel Briere is back in at the expense of Travis Moen.