Bruins Buoyed by Savard's Comeback
The veteran all-star pulled the B's back from the brink in Game 1.
Sunday, 05.2.2010 / 1:00 PM ET / Features
By Samantha Wood - BostonBruins.com
|Boston Bruins center Marc Savard reacts after scoring the game-winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during overtime of Game 1 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey game in Boston, Saturday, May 1, 2010. The Bruins won 5-4. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)|
The centerman, who had been out for 6 weeks with a severe concussion, returned to the lineup yesterday and notched the game-winning goal in overtime over the Philadelphia Flyers. It was an ending that “you can’t script it any better,” according to Savard.
Savard had been put out of commission by a blindside hit from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke Mar. 7. Since then he had been slowly improving and his symptoms began to fall away.
After being put through a battery of tests and being medically cleared to play, his goal at 13:52 into the first overtime period put the official seal on his certificate of recovery.
“It’s great. I am very happy for him. He is such a great player and seems like he didn’t miss a beat at all,” said Patrice Bergeron, who was on Savard’s line during the goal and scored a goal himself earlier in the game.
“I’m not surprised to be honest with you, but, like I said, I am just happy to see him back on the ice, first and foremost. It’s obviously a plus for the team.”
A big plus, indeed. The 5-4 OT win gave the B’s an important one-game lead over the Flyers in the second round of the playoffs.
“Yeah, like I said, I am not surprised,” said Bergeron, on how quickly Savard was able to return to his old self. “He is such a great player.
“He doesn’t need that many practices anyways. He showed that today. He can just get into a playoff game and just be fine and scored a big goal.”
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara echoed Bergy’s sentiments.
“I think everybody was really happy for him to get a goal and it end[ed] up being an overtime winner, and you know, it’s nice to see him back and obviously celebrating,” Chara said. “It’s nice to win the first game.”
Goaltender Tuukka Rask, who stopped 32 shots, played sports analyst and evaluated Savard’s goal for the gathered media in front of his stall yesterday.
“It’s great. It’s great to see that. I was pretty happy, I’m going to say that,” said Rask. “Sometimes we need to shoot the puck and get the puck high and then good things happen. He shot it high and it happened to go in.”
Even Philadelphia goalie Brian Boucher admitted that Savard’s goal was a beauty and he expects him to become even more dangerous with the puck as Round 2 continues.
“He put it in a good spot. Up top and over the glove,” Boucher said. “I don’t know if it was a broken play, but we were hemmed in there.
“He got pretty much all of it. It is tough to say I wish I had that one back when he put it where he did.
“That is why they are happy to have him back. He is a guy that can do that.”
Steve Begin, who also scored a goal yesterday, said that Savard’s success is yet another highlight of an already impressive Bruins game.
“We threw the puck at net and that’s what we’ve been doing,” Begin said. “It was nice to see Savvy get the winning goal at the end too.
“It was awesome for us and a big thing for him too in his first game back, so it’s great.”
Bruins bench boss Claude Julien summed it all up just as the excitement was finally winding down at the TD Garden.
“People are saying you couldn’t have scripted it better. I think it was nice to see him get that,” said Julien. “It’ll be great for his confidence. It’s a great way to come back in the lineup.”
He added with a smile, “If somebody was going to score and it happened to be him, it makes for, I guess, some good writing, doesn’t it?”