Canadiens eager to finish series

From The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky:

Leading 3-1 in their quarterfinal playoff series against Boston, and seemingly in the driver’s seat heading into Thursday’s fifth game at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens practised only 30 minutes late Wednesday afternoon.

All the forwards wore red sweaters, while the defencemen were all in white, making it difficult, if not impossible, to speculate on any lineup changes. The only player not on the ice was Mark Streit, given the luxury of a therapy day, according to a team official. Right-winger Michael Ryder, a healthy scratch for the 11th time this season on Tuesday, wasn’t made available to the media.

The Canadiens, to a man, obviously said they want to win on Thursday and avoid having to return to Boston for a sixth game, Saturday.

Gritty forward Steve Bégin, for one, is taking nothing for granted. Bégin was with the Canadiens in 2004, when they overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Bruins, capturing the series in seven games. Montreal was forced to win the last two games at Boston – the same scenario facing the

“It takes four games to win a series, and we’re missing one,” Bégin said. “We know they’re going to be ready.They don’t want to lose here, especially after last night. They’ll play harder.”

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