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Five Keys to the game: Habs-Bruins game 3

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Minus One Tough Guy
The Bruins will head into Game 3 in Montreal without the services of 6-foot-4 winger Milan Lucic.  The power forward will be taking in the game from the press box, serving a one-game, NHL-imposed suspension for a crosscheck to the face of Maxim Lapierre late in Game 2.  After dishing out eight hits and chipping in two assists in the first two games of the series, a Lucic-free Bruins roster isn’t unwelcome news for the Canadiens.

The Streaking Captain
Saku Koivu has always had a knack for finding his way onto the scoresheet against Boston in the playoffs.  In 17 postseason games against the Bruins, Koivu has tallied an impressive 22 points, having been held pointless in just five of those outings.  Monday night, the captain looks to continue his current streak of eight games with at least a point against the B’s in the playoffs, picking up two goals and 10 assists in that span.
Home, Sweet Home
The Canadiens return to the Bell Centre for Game 3.  Having posted a 24-10-7 record when playing in Montreal this season, the team has proven there really is no place like home. The 21,273 fans in the building will look to be the Habs’ seventh player tonight, doing their part to throw the Bruins off their game all night.

History Repeats Itself?
Winning the third game in the postseason is crucial.  Statistically, when the Canadiens fall behind in a best-of-seven series, they are the favorite in Game 3.  Historically, in the first round, the team that leads 2-0 has a below-average 0.459 win percentage in the third game.  Recall, if you will, the 2004 series against the Bruins, when the Canadiens pulled off the comeback after trailing by two, only to complete the Cinderella story by clinching the series in Game 7.

Playing by the Rules

The Canadiens will be following the rule book to the letter this evening, having been on the receiving end of 56% of the total penalty minutes given out in the series, including 59% in Game 2.  Lucic has been a one-man penalty parade for the Bruins, accounting for a little less than half of his team’s total penalty minutes in the series thanks to misconduct penalties in each of the first two games.  Maxim Lapierre will have a little more room to move tonight with Lucic missing from action, having received the exact same penalties as his Boston counterpart in those two outings.

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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