Best Bruins Playoff Games: Marc Savard's triumphant return

Scott McLaughlin
April 29, 2020 - 11:30 am

We should all be enjoying the madness of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs right now, but since we're not, we've decided to look back at some great Bruins postseason memories by counting down their top 10 playoff games of the 2010s. Today we take a look at our No. 7 choice. If you missed any previous entries, check them out here:

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No. 10: Pastrnak buries Blue Jackets

No. 9: Horton the Hero, Part 1

No. 8: Another Game 7 win over Toronto

Bruins fans have understandably done everything they can to wipe the team’s 2010 second-round series against the Flyers from their memories, but there is one game and one moment from that series that is absolutely worth remembering.

On March 7, 2010, Marc Savard had taken a dirty, blindside hit to the head from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke that would force him to miss nearly two months with a concussion. He missed all of the Bruins’ first-round series win over the Sabres, but got cleared to return for Game 1 of the second round against Philadelphia.

Although Savard was on a bit of a minutes restriction in his first game back, he would end up the hero, scoring 13:52 into overtime to cap off a wild 5-4 Bruins win.

The moment -- the most memorable goal of Savard’s career -- would prove to be bittersweet in retrospect. Not only did the Bruins end up blowing a 3-0 series lead (and a 3-0 Game 7 lead), but Savard never got to return to the player he was before Cooke’s hit and was ultimately forced to stop playing for good when he suffered a second concussion the following January.

But at the time, the jubilation inside the Garden reached an all-time high. After months of feeling angry and bitter -- at Cooke and at the league for not punishing Cooke -- Bruins fans not only got to see Savard back on the ice, but got to see him score the overtime winner and explode with joy by sprinting across the ice, banging his stick and then tossing it into the air.

(A little bit of fun trivia: With this goal, Savard became just the sixth Bruin ever to score multiple playoff overtime winners, as he had also scored one against the Canadiens in 2008. In the decade since, Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron have all joined the club as well.)

As great as the big picture story was, the game itself was pretty great, too. The Bruins held leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2, but two Flyers goals in the final eight minutes of regulation sent the game to overtime.

The Bruins dominated overtime and appeared to be on the verge of winning several times, but Brian Boucher stood on his head in the Philly crease. Seriously, just watch from 6:16-7:42 in the video below -- the number of chances the Bruins had in the first two-plus minutes of overtime was ridiculous.

Then Daniel Carcillo (remember him?) had a breakaway chance for the Flyers, but Tuukka Rask came up big. Finally, after another lengthy offensive-zone possession for the Bruins -- and with a penalty call on the Flyers coming -- Savard pulled up to a bouncing puck, teed up a slapper, and fired a shot under the crossbar to send the Garden into a frenzy.

The 2010 postseason didn’t have a happy ending, and neither did Savard’s career, but Game 1 of that second-round series certainly did.

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