BOSTON — In the jubilation of his overtime goal, Marc Savard tossed his stick 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 Saturday 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 Monday night in Boston.

Savard was injured March 7 on a hit by Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke that prompted the NHL to ban blindside hits to the head. Cleared to return this week, he skated just six abbreviated shifts in the first period, but Julien threw him out there more as the game went on.

In overtime, with the Flyers due to receive a penalty in their own end, Savard outraced a defender to a loose puck in the right circle and slapped it past Boucher, under the crossbar.

“He put it in a great spot,” Boucher said. “But that’s why they’re glad to have him back.”

Boston took a 2-0 lead in the first 13 minutes and still led 4-2 with under 8 minutes left. Richards cut the deficit to one with 7:23 to play, then Danny Briere outmuscled two defenders to go in alone on Rask and tie it with 3:22 left.

Boston had several good chances early in overtime, and Philadelphia had one when Rask stopped Daniel Carcillo on a breakaway.

“It is a small (consolation) prize, I guess. But we still lost the game,” Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said of his team’s rally. “It stinks because we came back and played a pretty good second (period ) and a very good third. They were fortunate enough to get that last one. It’s something we can build on, that’s for sure.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.