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Fans to pack Bell Centre, cheer Canadiens from afar

by Arpon Basu

BOSTON -- They will be 250 miles away, but the Montreal Canadiens will have some extra support when they play Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

There will be 21,273 screaming fans in a sold-out Bell Centre watching the game in the building where they are accustomed to cheering the Canadiens on the ice, not on the scoreboard video screen.

The Canadiens did the same thing for the two Game 7s they played in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the reaction was as enthusiastic; the game sold out in less than two hours at $10 a ticket.

"I probably shouldn't be surprised, but I still am," Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said. "It's just the passion that comes with the Montreal Canadiens fans. Obviously we care a lot in this room, but they care a lot as well about the logo and the history and everything that comes with it."

Defenseman Josh Gorges went through that playoff run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2010 and remembers hearing the stories of how crazy it was in their home arena. But when asked if the thought of more than 20,000 people paying money to watch a game on a scoreboard ever enters his mind, Gorges said the feeling is no different than being aware of the massive expectation the fans have of their favorite team.

"No, because we know they're watching anyways," Gorges said. "Whether it was at the Bell Centre or on the couch, there's more than 22,000 people watching this game and hoping for us to come out on top. That's part of playing for this team, the support that we have and the fan base that we have is incredible."

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