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Incident gnawing at Carcillo

He claims Savard bit finger in scrum

By Brendan Hall
Globe Correspondent / May 4, 2010

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Any other players, and this likely would have come to a more reasonable conclusion. But this was Marc Savard — who suffered a concussion March 7 from a blindside hit that required a nearly two-month recovery — and Philadelphia tough guy Dan Carcillo, who knocked Savard in the head after the whistle during a second-period scrum in the Bruins’ 3-2 victory over the Flyers in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series last night at TD Garden.

So a minor melee was expected. After Flyers goalie Brian Boucher froze the puck at 5:55 of the second period, Carcillo went to break up a tiff between Savard and Kimmo Timonen. The Bruins center tussled with Carcillo and Timonen, throwing punches and apparently doing something else (more on that later). But in the end, only Savard was penalized (two minutes for slashing), igniting a loud chorus of boos from the stands.

Carcillo, a well-known agitator, has been called a variety of things over his career, from dirty to cheap shot to his popular nickname, “Car bomb.’’ But you can also call him blunt, and he was last night, saying he was bitten by Savard during the scuffle.

Do you have teeth marks?

“I did, yeah,’’ he deadpanned. “Last time I got bit was in grade school. It’s not a good feeling, and it’s pretty cowardly.’’

But the way Savard saw it, Carcillo was at fault.

“He embellished it a bit,’’ said Savard. “I think he tried to pull my teeth out. So, if that’s biting, I don’t know what to say. I’ve still got them, thank God.’’

And Carcillo’s response?

“Oh yeah, that’s what I do when I get into a scrum. I try to pull peoples’ teeth out,’’ responded Carcillo.

Maybe his hand just got tangled into his mouth?

“Whatever, man. He bit me.’’

There was no blood and the incident was not seen by the referees.

Was Carcillo surprised by it all?

“That he bit me? Yeah,’’ he said. “Guys don’t bite. Men don’t bite.’’

Whether to believe Savard’s or Carcillo’s side of the story figures to be a hot topic entering Game 3 tomorrow night. But clearly, the Bruins are not afraid of taking retaliatory penalties against the Flyers, a team known for physical play. In the first period, Steve Begin returned Carcillo’s hard check with a cross-check, flattening the Flyers forward and stunning him for a few moments (“I hit him and he cross-checked me. Pretty simple,’’ said Carcillo).

Meanwhile, Simon Gagne (toe) is still up in the air for Game 3, and Jeff Carter (foot) isn’t coming back soon. Mike Richards and Danny Briere have scored four of the Flyers’ six goals in the series. The lack of scoring touch is evident, and with that in mind, the Flyers need to stay out of the penalty box to preserve legs.

Briere suggested fatigue may have been a factor in allowing Milan Lucic’s winning goal with 2:57 remaining in the game as the Flyers struggled to clear the puck.

Coach Peter Laviolette acknowledged having guys putting in extra shifts on the penalty kill might have hurt.

“There’s no doubt,’’ said Laviolette. “You get those big horses, and that’s where you feel the effects of having those guys out of the lineup.’’

But the Flyers coach wasn’t going to throw fuel on the fire brewing between Carcillo and Savard.

“I heard something, but to be honest I haven’t thought about a bit finger yet,’’ he said. “I’m still in the game kind of.’’

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