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Savard changing lines as B's adjust for Game 2

by John McGourty /
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins Game 1 hero Marc Savard, who scored the winning goal in overtime, practiced at left wing on a line with center Vladimir Sobotka and right wing Michael Ryder Monday morning at TD Garden, hours before the Bruins host the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS).

Savard hadn't played since suffering a concussion March 7, and the Bruins are fortunate to have him back because left wing Marco Sturm, who led the Bruins with 22 goals this season (but only 1 goal in his last 23 regular-season and playoff games), was lost for the season when he tore two ligaments in his right knee 21 seconds into Game 1.

Julien was asked how he'll deploy Savard and Sobotka, and who will be taking faceoffs on that line.

"That'll depend on how the game goes," he said. "I think there's times where Sobotka's been really good on faceoffs. That doesn't mean that just because he takes a faceoff he can't still play the wing. We have that all the time. Vladdy's played both positions.

"At the same time, with what's happened, I probably plan on moving guys around. I'm not sure, unless they put me in that position to keep set lines tonight, you might see some guys moving around, but we'll see how it goes. I'm prepared for any scenario, so I can't give you the answer you probably want. … That's part of playoff hockey. You adjust and you go as you see it necessary."

Sturm is also one of the Bruins' top penalty killers; Boston, which killed all 19 Buffalo Sabres power plays in their first-round series, gave up 2 power-play goals to the Flyers in Game 1. Julien also said he's going to have to adjust his penalty-killing units as a result of Sturm's absence.

"We've got some other guys who can step in there," he said. "You saw Mark Recchi at times this year when one of those guys ended up in the penalty box, we threw him (in). (Sobotka) has always been part of it. We've got guys that can do the job, but at the same time, Begin is one of those guys that spends a lot of time penalty killing during a game, and if you need some extra, we need extra from him. He can give us that, you know, without over-utilizing players, so we'll be fine. We got lots of guys that can step up and fill in that role."

At Monday's morning skate, Patrice Bergeron centered a line with left wing Daniel Paille and right wing Mark Recchi. The Bergeron-Recchi combination has been outstanding and the Bruins are hoping Paille's speed and defensive awareness will complement them.

It appears Shawn Thornton, who sat out Game 1 when Savard returned, will play right wing on a line centered by Steve Begin, with left wing Blake Wheeler. Begin played left wing on the Bergeron-Recchi line for most of Game 1 after Sturm was hurt.

Julien will apparently maintain the line of David Krejci centering left wing Milan Lucic and right wing Miroslav Satan, a Flyers killer who has 21 points in 22 career playoff games against Philadelphia. Satan had a goal and an assist in the 5-4 overtime win in Game 1.

Stuart getting close -- Injured Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart skated hard in a pre-practice fitness session and then joined his teammates at the light practice. Julien said he hoped Stuart could return to the lineup later in the series.

Stuart underwent surgery after breaking his pinkie finger Jan. 30 and missed seven games. He returned to the lineup March 2 and played in 17 games before an infection set in around a pin that was inserted to promote healing. Stuart missed the last five games of the regular season and so far all seven playoff games.

"He's come along well," Julien said. "As we mentioned, it was a delicate kind of injury or situation that could go either way quickly. We're hoping for the best. Right now, things are looking more on the positive side. We'll stay realistic here and take it day-by-day. He'll be back soon and if he is, he'll be a good help for our hockey club."

His replacement, rookie defenseman Adam McQuaid, was benched in the second half of Game 1 after taking back-to-back minor penalties, the first leading to a Flyers power-play goal.

For Sturm, same old -- Sturm, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments on his first shift of the game against the Flyers, suffered the same injury to his left knee last season. He said Saturday's injury was unexpected and "too fast" after going through the rehabilitation process. He said he caught a rut before throwing a check on Flyers defenseman Matt Carle and heard "a pop."

"I tried to hit him and it happened right away when I started to push from my right leg to hit him," Sturm said. "I got caught or something like that and I know my knee twisted just a little bit. I could hear right away the big pop. And I heard it again before, and I knew it right away that it's going to be the same thing."
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