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Author: Ron Reusch


Andrei Markov put in a full practice with the Canadiens this morning for the first time since he was checked into the boards by Matt Cooke in game one of the Pittsburgh series two weeks ago. He was paired with his regular late-season partner Ryan O’Byrne.

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We can start with the team’s regular seasons. In 1993 the Canadiens won 48 games, third highest win total in the league behind Pittsburgh (56) and Boston (51). This year, for the first time in six years, the Canadiens failed to win forty. In other words, this year’s regular season version of the Canadiens wasn’t as good as the 1993 team. The Canadiens had the league’s 6th best point total in ’93. They were 19th overall in the league this year.

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GAME #7 -Canadiens-5 Pittsburgh-2 (Montreal Advances)

The Canadiens took it to the Penguins from the opening puck-drop. Brian Gionta scored on a power play thirty-two seconds into the game. Dominic Moore made it 2-0 against the rattled Penguins before the first period was over. Then it was Michael Cammaller with his 7th goal of the series and then Travis Moen with a dandy shorthanded goal. Pittsburgh did attempt to come back with two late second period goals but then Jaroslav Halak took over. The Penguins outshot the Canadiens 18-3 in the third period but the only goal was scored by Montreal.

Credit special teams again. The Canadiens were two four on the power play while the Penguins, even with Crosby and Malkin, were 0-for-6.

The Canadiens advance to the Eastern Final for the first time since their last Stanley Cup year in 1993. They’ll play either Philadelphia or Boston.

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It’s the second and third defence pairings where the major changes will be made. Coming back from a nine game absence, Jaroslav Spacek earned second star in Monday night’s win. He played with his regular partner, Roman Hamrlik. With Gill, back in the lineup, Jacques Martin has the chance to take advantage of the two righthanded shots on defence, P.K. Subban and Ryan O’Byrne. If he follows what he showed in practice this morning, P.K. Subban will play the right point with Roman Hamrlik and Spacek will be able to move to what, until this year, was his usual, and more comfortable spot on the left point alongside O’Byrne.

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