MONTREAL -- Could it be any other way in this, the best opening round of the NHL playoffs since ...when?
Since they allowed the forward pass?
Since Mark Recchi was a rookie?
The Montreal Canadiens won another Game 6, forced another Game 7, as their reputations for finding a way to win when that's the only option continues to grow. They are now 6-1 when facing elimination over the last two years and get a chance to improve that record Wednesday night in Boston.
"I guess we've started to earn a little bit of that reputation. It's a good one to have," said Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri, who had a goal and an assist in the Habs' 2-1 win over the Bruins at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens took off after the game with their bags packed for an undetermined road trip. If they win Wednesday night, they will go on to face the Washington Capitals for the second spring in a row.
If the Bruins win, they will play the Philadelphia Flyers and the Caps will play the winner of Game 7 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning, also Wednesday.
Cammalleri has been a big part of the Habs winning elimination games since he arrived in the summer of 2009. He now has seven goals and three assists in the seven elimination games he's played as a Canadien.
"It's nothing in particular to do with me. It's how we play as a group. There's not much to get excited about right now because in less than 24 hours we have to do it all over again. Tonight gets forgotten pretty quickly depending on the result (Wednesday) night. As soon as we got in the room after the game, there was pretty much zero talk about (Game 6) It was, 'Let's go get some rest and roll into the next game. Roll it over like it's the same game and let's keep it going.'
"I'm not ready to sit here and start praising each other. We've got a big game coming up and it's still the first round of the playoffs. Let's keep all the compliments to a minimum."
The Canadiens scored both their goals on 5-on-3 advantages for their first win on home ice in this series, snapping a personal seven-game losing streak at the Bell Centre for goaltender Carey Price.
The Habs' goals came after referee Kevin Pollock waved off a goal by Montreal's Brian Gionta three minutes into the game when Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas mishandled the puck and Gionta poked it into the net. The call was that the whistle had blown before the puck entered the net.
That drove the Bell Centre crowd nuts, as you might expect, and they littered the ice with their rally towels and even a rubber chicken.
Any time there's a rubber chicken on the ice, you know it's been an eventful hockey game.
Gionta scored what would turn out to be the winner off a rebound of a Cammalleri shot at 5:48 of the second period. The goal came with Boston's Milan Lucic out of the game, having been assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding Montreal defenceman Jaroslav Spacek, and Patrice Bergeron sent off for delay of game.
Boston's Dennis Seidenberg tied the game 1-1 just 48 seconds into the second period when he circled out from behind the net and beat Price to the short side.
The Bruins went 0-for-4 with the man advantage and are now 0-for-19 in the series (how's that Tomas Kaberle trade looking for the Bruins now?).
The Bruins have a lot to think about: their season has ended in a Game 7 the last three springs, including last year when they blew a 3-0 lead in both Game 7 and the series and lost to the Flyers.
"We've got to embrace it and enjoy it," said Recchi. "It's a fun time of year."
No question about that.