Former Flyer Gags the Bruins Again

Published on May 22nd, 2011

Simon Gagne

Former Philadelphia Flyer Simon Gagne continues to be a Boston Bruin-killer as he notched the game-winning goal and added 2 assists in a stunning 5-3 victory for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Bruins in Game 4 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday May 21st.  The series is now tied 2-2.

Last season as a member of the Flyers, Gagne was instrumental in the team’s historic come-back from a 3-0 games deficit against the Bruins in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  After missing the first three games of the series due to injury, he returned for Game 4 and scored the game-winning goal in overtime.  Then he added two goals in Game 5 as the Flyers claimed an easy 4-0 win.  Finally in Game 7, he scored the eventual game and series-winner at 12:52 of the 3rd period as the Flyers held on to a 4-3 win and clinched the series 4 games to 3.

In this game, the Boston Bruins had raced out to a 3-0 lead over the Lightning after one period of play.  They looked to have the game in-hand.  The Lightning had other plans however as they scored 3 goals in a 4-minute span in the 2nd period with Gagne setting up the 1st goal.  Gagne then scored the game-winner at 6:54 of the 3rd period as Martin St. Louis added an empty-netter in the last minute. 

Tampa head coach Guy Boucher on him said, “Gagne is a money player.  He’s a clutch player.  He’s always been.  And I guess when he’s not, it’s because he’s retired, because I’ve seen him in junior.  I was lucky enough to see him play in junior, and you saw him at the Olympics, too.  And whenever it’s a big moment, you know he’s there.”

He added, “It’s not the first time. You look at our last two months of the year, he’s arguably in our top two to three forwards easily.  He was outstanding for us.  So happy for him to get his game back.  It was really tough to start the year, move, change of environment.  He played injured, didn’t want to show he was injured.  So he had a very tough start.  We gave him a long break to take care of what he needed to do.  When he came back, he started this uphill climb that I think is still going on.”

Gagne struggled to start the season going scoreless in his 1st 6 games with the Lightning.  After missing a month, he returned but was only able to notch 5 points in 13 games in December.  He improved each month after that though including having a great March scoring 14 points in 14 games.  He also had 12 points in 13 games in April including 7 points in the 1st round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He suffered a head injury in the Washington Capitals 2nd round series and missed most of that before returning for the Eastern Conference Finals.  So far in this Bruins’ series, he has 2 goals and 2 assists and is a +5.

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