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Savard returns to Bruins’ lineup after long fight with post-concussion syndrome

BOSTON – Marc Savard returned to the Boston Bruins’ lineup Thursday night against Tampa Bay after a long fight with post-concussion syndrome.

The star centre missed the first 23 games of the season.

Savard was injured March 7 when he was knocked out by a blindside hit by Penguins forward Matt Cooke. He missed the final 18 regular-season games as well as the first round of the playoffs before returning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Philadelphia.

He scored the winner in overtime, but wasn’t a factor for the rest of the series and was a contributor to a crucial too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty late in Game 7 that led to the Flyers’ series-winning goal.

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During off-season workouts, Savard’s post-concussion syndrome returned, including a bout with depression causing a setback that delayed his season-debut indefinitely.

Savard was greeted by a standing ovation by the home crowd as he entered the game 2:26 into the first period. Savard centred a line with rookie Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder. Savard has led the Bruins in scoring three of the last four years. Injuries limited him to 41 games last season.