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Bruins headed for first Game 7 in Final

Monday, 06.13.2011 / 11:42 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Bruins headed for first Game 7 in Final
The Boston Bruins are heading for uncharted territory -- their first Game 7 in a Stanley Cup Final.
The Boston Bruins are heading for uncharted territory -- their first Game 7 in a Stanley Cup Final.

Boston's 5-2 win against Vancouver in Game 6 on Monday night sent the Stanley Cup Final to the limit, meaning that for the first time in the 15 times they've been in a best-of-seven Final, the Bruins will be playing in a seventh game.

Of the 15 best-of-seven Finals in Boston history, five ended in sweeps, five more were decided in five games and the other four in six games. Boston played three other Finals that were best-of-three series before the best-of-seven format was adopted in 1939.

The Bruins do have plenty of experience with Game 7s this spring -- it's the third time in their four series that they've gone to the limit. Boston beat Montreal 4-3 in overtime to win its first-round series and nipped Tampa Bay 1-0 to capture the Eastern Conference Finals. Nathan Horton, sidelined with a concussion, scored the winning goal in both games, which were played in Boston.

In all, this will be the 16th time since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939 that the Stanley Cup Final has gone to a seventh game -- but it's the sixth time in the last 10 years. Home teams have dominated Game 7s, winning 12 of the 15 games. The good omen for the Bruins: The last time the Final went to seven games, in 2009, the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins won 2-1 at Detroit. The bad news: While they're 11-10 all-time in Game 7s, the Bruins have lost all four they've played away from Boston.

The only other road teams to win Game 7s were the 1945 Toronto Maple Leafs, who beat the Red Wings 2-1 at Detroit, and the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Blackhawks 3-2 at Chicago Stadium.

As for the Canucks: They're 0-1 in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Final -- they lost 3-2 to the Rangers in New York in 1994 -- but they are 6-4 all-time in Game 7s and 4-2 in Vancouver, including their 2-1 overtime win against Chicago in the opening round of this year's playoffs.

No matter which team wins Wednesday, don't expect a lot of goals. No team has scored more than four goals in the seventh game of the Final, and only two visiting teams (1950 New York Rangers and the 1971 Canadiens) have scored as many as three.

Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential