BOSTON (Reuters) - Marc Savard completed an emotional return by scoring the winner as the Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in overtime in Saturday’s opening game of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series.
Savard, out for almost eight weeks after being concussed, swatted a rolling puck past netminder Brian Boucher 6:08 into overtime.
”It’s unbelievable,“ he told reporters after his first game since leaving the ice on a stretcher on March 7. ”I didn’t think this game would come this quick.
“I had tough stretches for days. I‘m just happy to be back with my buddies and to be here in Boston,” added Savard who produced a wild celebration after the goal.
Game Two will be in Boston on Monday. The Vancouver Canucks also play at the Chicago Blackhawks in another second-round opener later on Saturday.
Philadelphia fought back from a two-goal third period deficit to tie the score on Danny Briere’s slap shot with 3:22 left in regulation.
In-form Boucher turned away 14 overtime shots by Boston before Savard struck. The Flyers netminder had 41 saves in the game.
Boston’s Tuukka Rask saw only four shots in the extra period but made some impressive saves and had 32 stops in the game.
The Bruins won despite losing forward Marco Sturm to a leg injury with the game 21 seconds old. He led the team with 22 regular-season goals.
“We had to keep going,” said Boston center Patrice Bergeron after recording one goal and an assist. “Obviously everyone had to step up.”
The Bruins dominated the first period, goals by Steve Begin and Bergeron earning a 2-0 lead.
The advantage went to 4-2 in the third on David Krejci’s slap shot before Philadelphia fought back on goals by Mike Richards, who also had two assists, and Briere.
Miroslav Satan had Boston’s other goal in the second period.
Ryan Parent and Chris Pronger put Philadelphia in position for the comeback with goals sandwiched around Satan’s score.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Tony Jimenez