Bruins rest; Savard feels good

BOSTON -- And on the day after, he rested.

Bruins forward Marc Savard not only returned to Boston's lineup Saturday for the first time since March 7 because of a concussion, but the team's top playmaker also scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Bruins a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Bruins did not practice Sunday. Instead, the players did their normal routine of playing soccer in the hallway outside the locker room. Savard participated in the game and said afterward that he feels good.

"Obviously, each game I would like to try and contribute a little more," he said. "But I've got to be realistic again and just know when I'm feeling good. One game doesn't make a season, and obviously it's been a long season for me, and I haven't played a lot. I've just got to keep going and, whatever comes my way, just be ready for it."

As much as everyone wants to give Savard credit for his game-winning goal -- and deservedly so -- Bruins coach Claude Julien needs his props, too.

After three periods, Savard had logged only 11:51 of ice time. In the extra frame, Savard was on the ice for 4:05 before his goal at 13:52. Julien's plan to ease Savard back into action worked perfectly.

Moving forward in this series, that blueprint won't change much.

"You still have to keep your eye on that," Julien said. "I would say right now, a guy who played 15 minutes in almost four periods shouldn't be that tired with a day off in between games. Otherwise those 10 days we worked him hard didn't do much for him. He should be fine. Again, it's a matter of easing him in and seeing how well he does. If he keeps showing signs of a guy who has lots of energy and is playing well, why not use him more? If he shows signs of getting a little tired, you hold him back a little bit."

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins and Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.