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Now or never

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Alex Kovalev has never lost a Game 7 and has no intention of that changing tonight.
MONTREAL -- Game 7. For some it’s what dreams are made of, while for others it can be a nightmare. Either way, one team will wake up in the second round tomorrow morning and the other will be left wondering what might have been.

No player in the Habs’ dressing room knows more about do-or-die games than Bryan Smolinski. Now playing in the 19th playoff series of his career, the 35-year-old centerman has also experienced the pressure of a Game 7 on seven different occasions. Smolinski twice-lived the jubilation of winning a seventh game, including last spring when he helped lead the Canucks past the Stars in the first round.

Next up with five Game 7s under his belt is Alex Kovalev, who carries a perfect 5-0 mark in those games into tonight’s ultimate showdown with the Bruins. Kovalev has amassed a goal and three assists on his way to helping lead his teams to victory in a Game 7.

Each of the 11 current Habs to have experienced at least one seventh game in their careers have also felt the rush of coming out on top, including eight Canadiens having been a part of Montreal’s seven-game triumph over the Bruins in 2004.

Guy Carbonneau may not have any Game 7 experience as a coach, but the former Habs captain knows a thing or two about games of this magnitude. Back in his playing days, Carbonneau suited up for a Game 7 on 10 occasions, with Carbo emerging victorious five times.
Manny Almela is a writer for

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