Savard nets OT winner in first game back

How’s that for a Game 1? A great back-and-forth game between the B’s and Flyers ended late in the first overtime period on a blast from Marc Savard, playing in his first game of the 2010 playoffs. If the first 4 periods are any indication, this will be a great series between two teams that have all the makings of successful playoff clubs.

Boston jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Flyers battled back in the 2nd and the 3rd periods and forced overtime with a great hustle goal from Danny Briere with just over 3 minutes to play. The Bruins came out very strong in overtime, and Brian Boucher turned in a great effort in the opening minutes, stopping 15 shots in extra time. With a little over 6 minutes to play in OT, Marc Savard wired a one timer over the short side of Brian Boucher, sending the TD Garden into a frenzy and giving Boston a 1-0 lead in the series.

Briere’s goal to tie it came after the Flyers had done a much better of job in the 3rd of forechecking aggressively and turned the game into an up-and-down the ice footrace. The first period saw Boston jump out to an early2-0 lead, on goals from Steve Begin and Patrice Bergeron. Begin’s goal came early in the first on some good offensive pressure from the Bruins, and Bergeron slapped a loose rebound through Boucher about ten minutes later. Boston came out strong on home ice, riding the upbeat atmosphere at TD Garden to outshoot the Flyers 15-6 in the first.

Philly got things going in the 2nd, though, picking up the pace and doing a much better job of maintaining pressure on Rask and the Bruins. Ryan Parent put them on the board with his first goal of the playoffs, and after Miro Satan put the B’s back up by two, Chris Pronger scored his 3rd powerplay goal to pull Philly back within one heading into the 3rd.

The final period of regulation carried on the confrontational style of play that developed in the 2nd as these two tough teams began to assert themselves. Chris Pronger did a pretty good job for most of the night, I thought, of making life very difficult around the net for the Boston forwards, and he and Mark Recchi mixed it up a couple of times. Boston jumped back up to a 2 goal lead on David Krejci’s goal 8 minutes into the period. Krejci caught Boucher down and made a pretty little deke to pull him totally out of position before flipping it into the back of the net.

Philly just refused to go away, though, and the captain came through with a powerplay goal that really gave the Flyers the boost they needed. Briere’s individual effort saw him dance through both Bruins d-men before tossing a weak backhand on net. Rask couldn’t control the rebound and Briere was alert enough to quickly collar it and roof it under the bar where the diving Rask had no shot at saving it.

In OT, it was all Boston, as the Bruins put the pressure on Boucher early and never let up. Philly did have a few good chances in the extra period, but Rask was more than up to the challenge. Boucher looked like he might have been about to turn in another game-stealing performance through the first ten minutes, stopping more than one flurry of shots from the Bruins who held the play in the Flyers’ zone for most of the period. Boucher couldn’t really be blamed for the winner, either, as Savard put the puck in just under the bar from a spot just off the half boards that it looked it caught him offguard.

Despite the Bruins’ dominance in overtime, if the Flyers hadn’t come out in the first so slow they probably would have been able to pull this one out, and a good start in Game 2 will be crucial. Boucher looked very solid, despite allowing five goals, as he finished the game with 41 saves.

3 Stars
1. Marc Savard – 1 goal
2. Patrice Bergeron – 1 goal, 1 assist, +2, 3 shots
3. Mike Richards – 1 goal, 2 assists, +1

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Tags: Bruins Chris Pronger Flyers Marc Savard

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