BOSTON, MA -
Bruins center Marc Savard
may have scored two goals in Boston's convincing 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, but the B's veteran forward pointed in a different direction when asked about the Black & Gold's true catalyst in the win.
|Boston Bruins' Marc Savard celebrates his third period goal as Carolina Hurricanes' Joni Pitkanen of Finland skates away during the Bruins 4-1 win in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NHL hockey game in Boston Friday, May 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
“I think [it was] the crowd,” said Savard of the impetus behind the B’s early jump. “The crowd gave us that excitement and that energy we needed to get into the game, especially when we came out, it was awesome.
“The boys followed suit.”
Starting with a early deflection goal by David Krejci
, and interrupted only by a late first period goal by Carolina, the Bruins stifled the momentum carried up the east coast by the Hurricanes after the southern club had doused the Devils playoff hopes earlier in the week.
“We rolled four lines for the first one and [with] us staying out of the box, we were able to do that [effectively],” said Savard. “Get everybody in it, take short shifts.
“We’ve got a disciplined group and we proved it again tonight.”
The Bruins proved many things on Friday – that their sweep of Montreal was no fluke; that their domination of the scoreboard during their four game season sweep of Carolina was a reasonable indication of what was in store for the Hurricanes. But in the end, they proved that the system put into play by the B’s Adams Award-nominated coach, Claude Julien, doesn’t necessitate division or Original Six rivalries to be successful.
“Yeah, I mean we were disciplined again, we played hard,” said Savard. “It wasn’t our best game but we got the job done, we stayed focused right until the end of the game.
“Obviously Timmy [Thomas] had a great game, and Z [Zdeno Chara
] did his job tonight shutting down Staal pretty well so it was a good team effort.”
But it was Savard himself who put two of the B’s four nails into the Carolina coffin, thanks in large part to linemates Phil Kessel and Milan Lucic
. The trio, reunited during the game by Julien, stormed the Hurricanes net again, and again and again.
“Yeah it seems like [Claude Julien], when he reaches into his hat, he pulls out some good combos,” said Savard. “We’ve played 60 games together to start the year: Me, Luch, and Kess and we love playing with each other.
“We were excited to get back together and the three of us I think want to be together and we got the chance to play today. We didn’t want to lose it. We stayed together, we worked hard, and we were rewarded for it.”
|Boston Bruins center Marc Savard celebrates his second period goal against Carolina Hurricanes Cam Ward during Game 1 of an NHL Eastern Conference semi-final hockey game, Friday, May 1, 2009 in Boston.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa) |
Lucic was particularly effective, and stood tall in front of the Carolina net as the Hurricanes bore down on the big wing.
“Luch came to our line in the second period when we scored our first goal,” said Savard. “I love playing with him, he creates a lot of room.
“[The defense] are thinking a couple of times extra to going back to get it and it enables me to get in with the puck so I stay tight with him.
“He did a great job again and got to the front of the net and had a good tip and on the other one he just drove right through and took everybody with him and I was able to have a big hole.”
“He’s a big body,” continued Savard. “On that last goal that I scored I couldn’t believe the room I had got because he went right through the middle and I just have a huge lane and it’s a credit to him.
“Even on the first one, right in front, he makes a great tip on it and I remember we got the rebound. It starts before all that I’ll let him get in the corners, making guys back off and me staying tight to him. I think that’s a huge key.”
Another key will be to bring the same enthusiasm and discipline to the forefront on Sunday night, and above all, execute more effectively.
“We’re going to enjoy it tonight,” said Savard. “But we know we got to be better, that wasn’t our best effort…but we’ll clean up some areas and be ready Sunday.”