Bruins, Savard stick it to Flyers
BOSTON — In the jubilation of his overtime goal, Marc Savard tossed the stick he used for the game-winner into the stands.
He was surprised to find it back on the ice when he went back out for a postgame curtain call.
"I thought maybe my head — something's wrong here," said the Boston Bruins forward, who missed the last 18 games of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs because of a concussion. "I thought it was a treat for somebody. So, thanks for giving it back."
In his first game in almost two months, Savard scored on a delayed penalty 13:52 into overtime yesterday to give the Bruins a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"It's been a whirlwind for me. Obviously, I went through a lot of tough days," said Savard, who received a big cheer for his first shift. "When I got out there, there was a little water in my eyes at first. The crowd treated me great. My teammates were great with me all day. And I just wanted to fit in. ... I guess you can't script it any better."
Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots for Boston, Dennis Wideman had three assists, and Miroslav Satan and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal and an assist. Brian Boucher stopped 41 shots, and Mike Richards had a goal and two assists for the Flyers.
But the star was Savard.
"Any time a guy steps into your lineup and hasn't played in two months and scores the game-winner you've got to take it with a smile," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I guess it makes for some good writing, doesn't it?"
Game 2 is tomorrow night in Boston.
CANUCKS 5, BLACKHAWKS 1
CHICAGO —Roberto Luongo was ready from the instant the first puck dropped. He put last year's playoff debacle at the United Center behind him, established his presence early and helped the Vancouver Canucks win their semifinal opener.
Luongo had 36 saves, and the Canucks scored two momentum-shifting goals — one late in the first and one early in the second — to rout the Chicago Blackhawks last night.
After clinching its opening-round series against the Kings last Sunday, the Canucks were raring to go. Luongo made 17 saves in the first period to set the tone.
"It was nice to start that way. No doubt about it. That being said, it was only one game," Luongo said.
"I haven't played in a week, so it was nice to get that kind of work early in the game, to get that comfort level back right away. After that I felt like normal."
Luongo gave up seven goals in his previous playoff appearance at the United Center a year ago when Chicago beat the Canucks in the clinching Game 6, including three to Patrick Kane. Kane netted another goal last night during a two-man advantage early in the third, but it came after the Canucks were already ahead 5-0.