BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are about to play their ninth Game 7 in the past seven seasons when they host the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Second Round at TD Garden on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
The Bruins and Canadiens have split their past eight do-or-die games.
In some of their more recent series finales, Boston has turned to the fourth line of Gregory Campbell centering wings Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton, which is known as the Merlot Line because of the color of their practice sweaters. They have made the most of limited ice time and used energy and physicality to turn the momentum in the Bruins' favor. They're expected to do the same against Montreal, but someone will have to pick up the scoring slack.
Through the past three games against the Canadiens, including a 4-0 loss in Game 6 on Monday, the reunited fourth line has failed to make that sort of impact. With a trip to the Eastern Conference Final on the line in Game 7, the Bruins' biggest source of energy hopes to provide the necessary juice for a victory.
"Hopefully we can get out there early, get a rhythm going and get on top of them. We have to get on the forecheck. That's when we're at our best. We know that," Thornton said Tuesday during an off day for most of Boston's regulars. "We have to get pucks into areas where we can get them back. Hopefully we can create some momentum for our team; that's the goal."