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Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Caps #5

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Pass it to Pleky/Cammy/Bergy!: With four game-winners apiece in the regular season, no Habs player was better in the clutch than Tomas Plekanec, Michael Cammalleri and Marc-Andre Bergeron this year. As Pleky proved by notching the OT-winner in Game 1, when the game’s on the line, there are definitely worse players to have the puck on their sticks. 

A Monday night rendez-vous?: When the Canadiens left the ice at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night they had no intention of making that the last time they would hear cheers from their home crowd this season. This marks the 14th time in team history the Habs will be facing elimination in the fifth game of a seven-game series and the 10th straight time they will be doing so on enemy ice. On six of those occasions, the Canadiens have managed to force a seventh game, including in 2004 when they roared back from a 3-1 series hole to eliminate the Bruins.

In the same boat: Like the Habs, the Sabres, Devils and Senators are all facing a 3-1 series gaps, bringing the league’s all-time total of such deficits to 238 since the NHL introduced the best-of-seven format in 1939. But just how many teams have managed to climb all the way back to win? The answer is 21, with the Habs (2004) and Capitals being the last teams to turn the trick.  

Ready, set, draw: The face-off circle hasn’t been very kind to the Canadiens since the start of this series. As a team, Habs centermen have won only 40.2 % of the draws they’ve taken, with Dominic Moore leading the way at 48.7%.

Black and blue: Roman Hamrlik and Hal Gill may be defenseman by trade, but throughout this series they’ve been moonlighting as pseudo-goalies – unfortunately without all the padding or sweet painted mask. In four games, the Habs blue-liners are tied for the series lead on both teams with 15 blocked shots apiece. 

See also:
Something’s gotta give
All or nothing  
Habs overcome by Caps, fall back 3-1 in series 
Playoff Central
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