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Marc Savard Returns, Scores Game-Winner In Overtime

May 1, 2010 – 3:41 PM
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Adam Gretz

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The Bruins-Flyers matchup was the one second round series in which I had absolutely no idea what to expect going in. A toss-up that could go either way with neither team standing out as a clear-cut favorite. Based on the sometimes chaotic play that unfolded throughout Saturday's 5-4 overtime win by Boston, it looks as if it's going to be a heck of a series.

Marc Savard, playing for the first time since suffering a severe concussion two months ago, returned to the Bruins lineup and capped off a thrilling -- and hectic -- overtime period when he blasted a slap shot past Philadelphia goaltender Brian Boucher from just inside the left circle, giving Boston the early lead in the series.

Bruins Lead Series, 1-0
Bruins 5, Flyers 4 (OT): Recap | Box Score | Series Page

Boucher was under intense pressure at various points throughout the game, including the first period and the overtime period, as the Bruins crashed in on him and managed to create a number of quality scoring chances. It was the type of pressure he didn't really see in the opening round when the Flyers dispatched the Devils in five games, and for the most part, he more than held his own, keeping his team in the game and giving them a chance. In the end, however, Savard and the Bruins proved to be just too much. Part of the problem was the fact that Danny Briere, playing out of position (center) due to injuries, lost his man on more than one occasion, leading to a pair of Bruins goals.

The last time Savard was on the ice in a game situation he had to be carried off on a stretcher after being on the receiving end of a Matt Cooke hit that resulted in a rule change regarding blindside hits to the head. He played just a little over 15 minutes on Saturday, finishing with a goal, two shots, a blocked shot and even helped draw a roughing penalty on Flyers agitator Daniel Carcillo that led to a Boston Power play goal in the second period. In other words: he made quite an impact.

Unfortunately for Boston, while it received a great effort from its best all-around forward in his return to the lineup, it also managed to lose another one when Marco Sturm had to leave the game after playing just 41 seconds with what appeared to be a leg injury. Sturm, who scored 22 goals during the regular season to lead the Bruins, did not return.

After the Flyers scored two goals in the final seven minutes of regulation to force overtime -- including this great individual effort from Briere to split the defense and bury his own rebound -- the Bruins came out in the extra period and dominated right from the start, recording seven shots on goal in the first three minutes.

Philadelphia managed to get a few chances of its own, including a Carcillo breakway that ended with Tuukka Rask making what turned out to be a game-saving stop. The rookie goaltender turned aside 31 of the 34 shots he faced throughout the day.
Filed under: Sports