Canadiens look to force Game 7 vs. Caps in Montreal on TSN

The Sports Network
4/26/2010 12:22:38 PM
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(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will look to force Game 7 in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series when they host the Washington Capitals tonight in Game 6 at the Bell Centre.

Catch the action on TSN and TSN HD at 7pm et/4pm pt and when the game is over, watch the conclusion of Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Predators.

The top-seeded Capitals jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the series, but could not close out the set in Game 5 on Friday night in D.C., losing 2-1.

The Canadiens went back to Jaroslav Halak in Game 5 and the moved paid off as he came up with 37 saves to help the Canadiens stay alive. Halak was benched in Game 4 after starting the first three games and being pulled from net halfway through Game 3. He allowed just one goal to Alex Ovechkin in Friday's win.

"We knew it could have been our last game of the season," said Halak. "We came out with a lot of energy in the first and got those two goals. After that we did what we were supposed to and now we have to keep this going."

Travis Moen and Michael Cammalleri each had a goal in the first period for the Canadiens, who are trying to come back from a three games to one deficit to win a series for the first time since pulling off the feat against Boston in the 2004 conference quarterfinals. If Montreal wins tonight, it will force a Game 7 Wednesday evening in D.C.

Semyon Varlamov, starting his third straight game after relieving Jose Theodore in Game 2, stopped 26 shots for top-seeded Washington. Ovechkin scored his fifth goal of the series early in the second period, but Washington was unable to score the equalizer.

"We let it slip away, we have a Game 5 play in our building and we played like crap the first 10 minutes and the game was over," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau.

After losing the opener, the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals had rattled off three straight wins. Washington exploded for 17 goals in Games 2-4 before getting held to just one goal on Friday. The Caps have struggled on the power play and are just 1-for-24 on the man advantage during the series.

The eighth-seeded Canadiens, who were swept by Boston in last year's playoffs, have lost six straight on home ice in the playoffs. Montreal was 20-16-5 as the host during the regular season, while Washington had an excellent 24-10-7 road record.

The Canadiens could be without defenseman Jaroslav Spacek again after he missed Game 5 with an unspecified illness. Montreal has recalled defenseman P.K. Subban from Hamilton of the AHL and according to head coach Jacques Martin he will be a game time decision for tonight's game.

Washington centerman Eric Belanger is expected to play tonight after losing several teeth on Friday when he was hit in the mouth by the stick of Montreal's Marc-Andre Bergeron.

The Habs and Caps have never faced each other in the postseason before this spring, but played a very tight season series this year. Each team won two games and only one of the four tilts was decided by more than one goal -- a 4-2 win by Washington on Jan. 5. 

Jaroslav Halak (Photo: Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
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