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Montreal Canadiens hoping to score Bell Centre crowd increase for Round 3

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The decibel level could be going up again at the Bell Centre for Round 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Health Ministry confirmed to Global News on Friday that it is analyzing a request by the Canadiens organization to allow more fans to attend home games for the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Under current COVID-19 regulations, attendance is capped at 2,500, representing only 12 per cent of the Bell Centre’s maximum capacity.

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The Canadiens welcomed back fans for Game 6 of the first round against Toronto, and again for Games 3 and 4 of their second round series win over Winnipeg.

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The series between the Canadiens and Golden Knights kicks off in Vegas on Monday night, with Game 2 to follow on Wednesday.

Las Vegas will have a sell-out crowd of more than 17,000 fans for both games because of more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

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Earlier in the week, Habs forward Brendan Gallagher admitted a cheering home crowd can make a real difference.

“Home-ice advantage really is a thing with fans in the building,” Gallagher said. “They just create so much energy for the teams and you’re really able to feed off that.”

The Habs play their first home game of Round 3 next Friday night, with Game 4 set for Sunday, June 20.

The health ministry did not give deadline as to when a decision would be made, nor did officials hint at how many more fans could be allowed.

 

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