PHILADELPHIA – Simon Gagne put his foot down. He wanted to play in Game 4?even with an injured toe.
Gagne made a timely return to the lineup, scoring in overtime to help the Philadelphia Flyers hold off elimination by beating the Boston Bruins 5-4 on Friday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Gagne, the longest-tenured Flyer, played for the first time since he broke his right toe in Game 4 of Philadelphia’s opening-round series against New Jersey.
“It’s a good ending,” Gagne said. “I can’t ask for more to be able to come back early a little bit in the series.”
Game 5 is Monday at Boston. The Bruins can still advance to their first conference finals since 1992 with a win on home ice.
Matt Carle, who had four assists, fed Gagne for a nice redirect from the top of the crease for the winner. Gagne said he told coach Peter Laviolette and the trainer to “give me a chance.”
“You couldn’t ask for more,” Gagne said.
The comeback trail is still a long one, but the Flyers at least have a shot at becoming the third team in NHL history to rally from an 0-3 deficit to win a series.
Former Flyers star Mark Recchi scored twice for the Bruins?including the tying goal with 31.5 seconds left in regulation that made it four-all.
Chris Pronger, Danny Briere, Claude Giroux and Ville Leino all 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 in pre-game introductions. Gagne got the crowd roaring 3