Canadiens-Penguins: Can Montreal Pull Off a Miracle at Mellon?

Kamal PanesarCorrespondent IMay 12, 2010

MONTREAL- MAY 4:  Josh Gorges #26 of the Montreal Canadiens defends against Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on May 4, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins debuted in the NHL at the Civic Arena (now called the Mellon Arena) on October 11, 1967.

Their opponent was the Montreal Canadiens and the result was a 2-1 loss by the Pens.

With the Mellon Arena being retired at the end of this NHL season, tonight's game could be the last NHL game played in the "Igloo."

Tonight, the Canadiens and the Pens clash once more in the Mellon Arena, with the Habs having the chance to close out the old rink the same way they opened it: with a win.

It seems almost too perfect a story for the Habs to bookend the Mellon Arena by beating the home team again tonight, but stranger things have been known to happen.

The battle hardened Pittsburgh Penguins know what to expect tonight and will come out ready to win.

For the "nothing to lose but the game" Habs, they want this win badly and they believe that they can get it.

With the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin ready to lift their games to another level, the Canadiens will have to play their best game of the playoffs in order to eliminate the Pens tonight.

As has often been the case, the first ten minutes of this game will go a long way towards determining a winner.

For the Habs, they know that the Pens will come out with fire in their eyes, and they must weather the storm. If the Canadiens can come out of the first ten minutes tied or even up by a goal, things will be looking good.

If, after what is expected to be an early barrage by the Pens, the Canadiens are still hanging around, then things might start to get interesting.

Imagine if you will, the Canadiens even holding a lead going into the second or third periods. While I don't see the Pens as a team that will be nervous, the longer the game goes as a tied or one goal game, the more it will play into the Canadiens favour.

But who knows. Maybe this will be a surprising early blow out. I doubt it, but you never know.

As is often the case in Game Sevens, it is obscure players that end up being the heroes. The Matt Cookes and the Glen Metropolits of the world.

Who will step up tonight? Who will get that good break, lucky deflection, or gift wrapped rebound.

Only time will tell but whatever happens, this is sure to be a memorable game. Can the surprising Canadiens keep the party going or will the back-to-back Stanley Cup finalist Pens' experience carry them to victory?

In a little more than seven hours, we'll start finding out.

Enjoy the game everyone and don't forget about the live in-game chat tonight!

Follow Kamal on Facebook , Twitter , , , and Habs News Links