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Canadiens know what they're up against in Game 6

by Arpon Basu

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Their current situation looks very familiar to some members of the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens will face a must-win elimination game for the first time in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Boston Bruins on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

Seven Canadiens also played in the first round against the Bruins in 2011 when the scenario was the same. The Canadiens lost Game 5 of that series in Boston and came home to Montreal for Game 6 down 3-2 in the series but forced a Game 7 with a 2-1 win before finally losing the series in overtime.

Goaltender Carey Price, defenseman P.K. Subban, and forwards Tomas Plekanec, Travis Moen, David Desharnais, Brian Gionta and Lars Eller played in that series, and the memories should serve them well.

"It's not the first time or the last time we'll be in this situation," Gionta said Sunday while the Canadiens held an optional practice. "A lot of teams go through it. It's been a tight series. We're comfortable with our group. We're confident with our group.

"Obviously, you win or you go home and we're not ready to go home now."

Desharnais was a seldom-used rookie in 2011. A game like the one coming Monday should be seen as an opportunity, he said.

"This is fun," Desharnais said. "You play all year to be in this situation to have a big game at home. It's fun, we need to have fun with it."

One member of the Canadiens who was not part of that 2011 series is coach Michel Therrien, but he said he feels he's learned a lot about his team this season and is confident in its ability to meet this challenge.

"This group has faced a lot of adversity all year and we've always reacted with the right attitude," Therrien said. "That's what I like about this group. We're facing adversity right now, and the way we've reacted all season is encouraging. We're coming to play at home, we're well aware of the challenge we're facing and we need to look at it as a positive."

Bell Centre has again proven to be one of the NHL's loudest buildings in these playoffs, and the Canadiens are hoping to use that to feed their ability to force a Game 7 on Wednesday.

"We like the way we play at home," Gionta said. "We like the energy we feed off of from the fans. We're looking forward to it."

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