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Montreal force Game Seven showdown with Washington


Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak and Hal Gill stop a loose puck during the first period of action against the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final series in Montreal, April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Shaun Best
Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak and Hal Gill stop a loose puck during the first period of action against the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final series in Montreal, April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Shaun Best

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Jaroslav Halak made 53 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Monday, avoiding elimination for the second straight game and setting up a seventh game showdown.

The young Slovakian netminder turned aside all 18 shots he faced in the first period as the eighth-seeded Canadiens again frustrated the National Hockey League's top team and erased a 3-1 series deficit.

The seventh and deciding game of the first round series will be played in Washington on Wednesday.

Mike Cammalleri had two goals in the first period to lead Montreal's charge, while Maxim Lapierre scored on a slap shot early in the third to stretch the lead to 3-0.

The Capitals got on the board with an Eric Fehr goal with under five minutes left in regulation, but Montreal's Tomas Plekanec sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with less than a minute remaining.

The win was Montreal's first at home during the series.

The Capitals, who won the Presidents' Trophy for having the most points in the regular season, dominated the action with 54 shots to Montreal's 22, but could only manage one goal for the second straight game.

Alex Ovechkin had eight shots at goal but did not register a point.

In Boston, the Bruins advanced to the second round of the postseason with a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. David Krejci scored twice as the sixth-seeded Bruins completed a 4-2 best-of-seven series upset over the third-seeded Sabres.

The Bruins will play either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia in the second round.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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