PHILADELPHIA — Simon Gagne made a timely return to the lineup, scoring in overtime to help the Flyers hold off elimination by beating the Bruins 5-4 on Friday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Gagne played for the first time since he broke his right toe in Game 4 of Philadelphia's opening-round series against the Devils.
"It was awesome," Gagne said. "Being at home and being able to come back for Game 4 and get the game-winner helping us to go and play another game, it's definitely a good feeling."
Former Flyers and Lightning wing Mark Recchi scored twice for the Bruins, including the tying goal with 31.5 seconds left in regulation that made it 4-all.
Chris Pronger, Danny Briere, Claude Giroux and Ville Leino also scored for the Flyers. Michael Ryder and Milan Lucic had Boston's other goals.
Gagne was expected to at least miss this round after being injured while blocking a shot. He was walking around the Flyers' practice facility this week and was hopeful he could start skating this weekend.
He managed an early comeback and heard a rousing ovation when he was introduced before the game. Gagne got the crowd roaring 31/2 hours later on his first goal of the postseason.
The Flyers wasted a 3-1 lead and were deflated when Recchi scored the tying goal.
Recchi burned his former team when he scored against Brian Boucher off a faceoff in Philadelphia's end.
The sounds of "Booooosh" that had echoed after every late save turned to "booooo" after the Flyers were headed to OT. It was Recchi's sixth goal of the postseason.
The Flyers appeared to have forced Game 5 minutes earlier in the third. Leino skated across the slot and tipped in Pronger's shot with 5:40 left for a 4-3 lead that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
"If you look at the series, it's been tight games since Game 1," Gagne said. "We lost the first game in overtime. After that we lost by one goal with two minutes left in the game (in Game 2). I think we played very well at home the last game, it was just we didn't get those lucky bounces.
"(Friday night) we had the feeling we could come here and get the win and be able to get back in the series."
Game 5 is Monday in Boston. The Flyers haven't won a playoff game in Boston since the second of two straight on May 4, 1976, a 4-2 decision in the semifinals. The Flyers won that series four games to one.
|Bruins lead series 3-1|
|Bruins lead series 3-1|
First Period—1, Boston, Recchi 5 (Bergeron, Paille), 15:37. 2, Philadelphia, Briere 5 (Giroux, Carle), 19:06. Penalties—Lucic, Bos (high-sticking), 8:24; Sobotka, Bos (roughing), 18:04; Hartnell, Phi (roughing), 18:04.
Second Period—3, Philadelphia, Pronger 4 (Carle, Carcillo), 4:28. 4, Philadelphia, Giroux 5 (Hartnell, Carle), 8:35. 5, Boston, Ryder 3 (Hunwick, Wheeler), 10:56. Penalties—Briere, Phi (high-sticking), :31; Carcillo, Phi (cross-checking), 5:26.
Third Period—6, Boston, Lucic 2 (Wideman, Savard), 3:49 (pp). 7, Philadelphia, Leino 1 (Pronger, Briere), 14:20. 8, Boston, Recchi 6 (Bergeron, Wideman), 19:28. Penalties—Leino, Phi (hooking), 2:59; Chara, Bos (roughing), 9:38. First Overtime—9, Philadelphia, Gagne 1 (Carle, Richards), 14:40. Penalties—Powe, Phi (boarding), 10:36. Shots on Goal—Boston 10-10-8-9—37. Philadelphia 9-10-8-7—34. Power-play opportunities—Boston 1 of 4; Philadelphia 0 of 2. Goalies—Boston, Rask 7-3-0 (34 shots-29 saves). Philadelphia, Boucher 5-4-0 (37-33). A—19,702 (19,537).
Coyotes: The City Council of Glendale, Ariz., where the team plays in a city-owned arena, has resumed arena-lease talks with a group it had rejected as a buyer for the financially troubled team.
The council had approved an agreement with a group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Bulls and White Sox. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly would not comment on reports that Reinsdorf's deal had fallen through or that the league was preparing to possibly move the franchise back to Winnipeg, where it played as the Jets from 1972 to 1996, if no owner can be found to keep the team in Arizona.
The league bought the team in Bankruptcy Court last fall with the stated intention of finding an owner who would keep it in Arizona.
World championship: Before a record hockey crowd of 77,803, the United States lost to Germany 2-1 in the opening game at Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
The attendance at Veltins Arena, home of one of the country's most popular soccer teams, broke the record of 74,544, set in 2001 when Michigan State hosted Michigan at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
The Ducks' Ryan Carter got an unassisted goal for the Americans to tie the score at 1 with 11:32 left in regulation. Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin played 12:32 for the United States and had one shot.