Capital Offense: Montreal Shocks Top-Seeded Washington In Game 7

The Canadiens faced a 3-1 series deficit, but then Jaroslav Halak came to life, stopping 90-of-92 shots in Games 5 and 6, and then he denied another 41 shots Wednesday to lead the eighth-seeded Canadiens to an upset series win over the Capitals, hockey's top-seeded team. Read more at Japers' Rink and Habs Eyes On The Prize.

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Habs Blog: Halak's Story Seven Years In The Making

For the first time in NHL history, an eighth seed came back from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the number one team in the first round with Montreal’s 2-1 victory over Washington in Game 7. The Habs have, in large part, goalie Jaroslav Halak to thank for this. It’s a story seven seasons in the making.

The story’s beginning goes back seven seasons, when at the World Junior under 18 tournament, a pair of Canadiens scouts watched in amazement as Slovakian goaltender Jaroslav Halak repeatedly shut the door of Russian snipers Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Malkin.

The impressed scouts took note, and chose Halak in the ninth round of the 2003 draft, and the rest is history. Halak gradually climbed every rung in front of him.

Steeped in adverisity, and often controversy, since joining the Canadiens, Halak likely did not know how every challenge faced enable him to forge the mental fortitude that helped him rise to the top in the series against Washington.

Fast foward to the present tense, he’s the puck dented hero of a giant slaying series, and THE goaltending story this far in the 2010 playoffs.

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