The Boston Bruins are hoping history repeats itself when they host Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The Bruins pushed the series to the limit by winning 5-1 in Game 6 at Enterprise Center on Sunday.
Eight years ago, the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 at home in Game 6 of the Cup Final, then won 4-0 on the road in Game 7 for their sixth Stanley Cup championship. That was the 16th and most recent instance that the Cup Final has gone seven games since the NHL adopted the best-of-7 format for its championship round in 1939 but the first to involve Boston.
"There is no time to be worried or nervous about this situation," Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. "There are guys who never get a chance to play here, and I'll be [darned] if I spend a second not being grateful and just playing the best that I can. Because I'll look back on it one day and all you can do is be thankful for these opportunities. You've just got to go out and have fun."
The Bruins had been the last Original Six team to play in a Cup Final Game 7, and this will be the first time they will host one. The Blues have never played in Game 7 in the Cup Final since enterng the NHL in 1967-68; before this season, they had never won a game in the championship round, having been swept in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
"I'm really excited to get going," Blues forward David Perron said. "Obviously we would've wished to finish it off and celebrate with our fans, and all that stuff. ... We won a couple of games [in Boston], and we're going to try to win the next one."
[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]
Home teams are 12-4 (.750) in Game 7 of the Cup Final, but the visiting team has won the past two; two years before the Bruins won at the Canucks, the Pittsburgh Penguins held off the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. The 2011 Bruins and 2009 Penguins had another thing in common: Each won Game 7 on the road after the home team won the first six games of the series.
That was also the case in 1971, when the Montreal Canadiens trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in their series against the Chicago Blackhawks before winning Game 6 at home and Game 7 on the road, rallying from two goals down for a 3-2 victory.
No team has played in more Game 7s in the Cup Final than the Red Wings; they've been involved in seven, one in the NHL expansion era (since 1967-68). Each of the first six Game 7s involved the Red Wings, beginning in 1942, when they lost 3-1 at the Toronto Maple Leafs, who became the first to win a best-of-7 series after losing the first three games.
Detroit is the only team to win Game 7 of the Cup Final in overtime. The Red Wings did it twice, each time at home, in a span of five seasons. Detroit defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 in double overtime in Game 7 of the 1950 Cup Final, then defeated the Canadiens 2-1 in overtime, also at home, to win a seven-game Final in 1954.
Detroit and Toronto are the teams to win three Game 7s in the Cup Final. The Red Wings are 3-4; the Maple Leafs are 3-0, with the three wins against Detroit. The Canadiens (2-2) are the only other team with more than one Game 7 win in the Final; Montreal lost to Detroit twice (1954, 1955) and defeated Chicago twice (1965, 1971).
The Blackhawks and Canucks are the only teams to lose multiple Game 7s in the Cup Final without winning one. Vancouver's loss to Boston came 17 years after the Canucks lost 3-2 at the Rangers, giving New York its first Stanley Cup championship since 1940.
Four Game 7s have ended in a shutout; the Bruins are the only visiting team to hold its opponent without a goal. The first two came in consecutive seasons: Toronto defeated Detroit 4-0 in 1964, and Montreal won 4-0 against Chicago in 1965.
The other Game 7 shutout in the Cup Final came in 2003, when the New Jersey Devils defeated the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 3-0. That series was the most recent of three instances when the home team went 7-0 in the Final; it also happened in 1955 (Montreal-Detroit) and 1965 (Chicago-Montreal).
Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final
1942: Detroit Red Wings 1 at Toronto Maple Leafs 3
1945: Toronto Maple Leafs 2 at Detroit Red Wings 1
1950: New York Rangers 3 at Detroit Red Wings 4 (2OT)
1954: Montreal Canadiens 1 at Detroit Red Wings 2 (OT)
1955: Montreal Canadiens 1 at Detroit Red Wings 3
1964: Detroit Red Wings 0 at Toronto Maple Leafs 4
1965: Chicago Blackhawks 0 at Montreal Canadiens 4
1971: Montreal Canadiens 3 at Chicago Blackhawks 2
1987: Philadelphia Flyers 1 at Edmonton Oilers 3
1994: Vancouver Canucks 2 at New York Rangers 3
2001: New Jersey Devils 1 at Colorado Avalanche 3
2003: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 0 at New Jersey Devils 3
2004: Calgary Flames 1 at Tampa Bay Lightning 2
2006: Edmonton Oilers 1 at Carolina Hurricanes 3
2009: Pittsburgh Penguins 2 at Detroit Red Wings 1
2011: Boston Bruins 4 at Vancouver Canucks 0
Listen: Game 7 preview from NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast