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Rapid reaction: Habs 2, Bruins 1

MONTREAL -- The Bruins failed to close out their series with Montreal in Game 6 Tuesday night, losing 2-1, and these longtime rivals will play a do-or-die Game 7 at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

Brian Gionta’s power-play goal was the difference as the Habs staved off elimination. Mike Cammalleri had the other Montreal goal and Dennis Seidenberg scored the lone goal for the Bruins.

Tim Thomas made 25 saves and Carey Price had 31 for the Habs.

Bruins flat in first period. One of the keys for the Bruins coming into this game was that they had to match the desperation of the Habs and treat it like a Game 7. Instead they appeared to be flat and tentative in the opening frame and found themselves trailing 1-0 headed to the first intermission. The Habs weren’t that much better, but in the intensity department they outplayed Boston in the first period and if not for a goal called back, the Bruins would’ve been trailing 2-0.

Lucic gets ejected on boarding call. Milan Lucic was ejected from the game 4:37 into the second period after being called for boarding. Lucic hit Habs defenseman Jaroslav Spacek just as Spacek was turning, and Spacek went flying into the glass and ended up down on the ice bleeding from his face. While there is a valid argument that Spacek turned his back to draw the call, Lucic needs to know better. The Habs ended up breaking a 1-1 deadlock on the ensuing five-minute power play on a Brian Gionta goal 5:48 into the middle frame. That goal proved to be the difference.

Power play continues to struggle. While there were some questionable calls against the Bruins, they can’t really complain too much because they had some go their way as well. And as has been the case in this series and for most of the season, the power play was simply a non-factor for the Bruins. Boston had plenty of chances to make it a different game on the man-advantage and just couldn’t generate legit scoring chances. They went 0-for-4 and are now 0-for-19 on the power play in the series.

Cammalleri continues to burn the Bruins. Mike Cammalleri has been the Habs’ best player in this series, and in Game 6 he was a force again for Montreal with a goal and an assist. Cammalleri now has three goals and eight assists for 11 points in the series.

Bruins struggle to close out series in last two playoffs. Dating back to their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with Buffalo last spring, the Bruins are now 1-6 in their last seven chances to close out a playoff series. They failed to close out the Buffalo series in five games but clinched in Game 6, and then have lost five straight possible clinchers with four against the Flyers and now one against the Canadiens.