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Recchi couldn’t cap his big night

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / May 8, 2010

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PHILADELPHIA — After Mark Recchi scored the first and last goals of regulation, it only seemed fitting the gritty veteran would have a chance to go for the hat trick in overtime.

But the 42-year-old winger was thwarted when Claude Giroux tied up Recchi’s stick and prevented him from pulling the trigger on Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher from in front of the crease.

Still, the sight of Recchi hovering around the goal seemed to have the Wachovia Center crowd of 19,702 gasping in collective fright, especially after he sent the game into overtime with 32 seconds left in regulation.

“When I saw that play happening, I thought it was shades of the Winter Classic goal, the game-winner in overtime,’’ Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk said of Recchi’s overtime bid. “I think Giroux had a good stick on Rex and blocked his stick to get that tip in the net. I think it hit the tip of his stick, otherwise it would have gone in.’’

Had Recchi’s shot found the mark, the Bruins would have swept the series, advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992, and gone home to Boston to await the outcome of the Montreal-Pittsburgh series.

Instead, the Bruins were left to rue how Giroux foiled their best bid of the extra period and lick their wounds from a 5-4 OT loss in Game 4 last night.

“The guy did a pretty good job on my stick,’’ said Recchi, who has a team-high six playoff goals. “I just couldn’t push the puck, and I just got the tip of my blade on it and I couldn’t see what happened to be honest with you.’’

Perhaps Recchi couldn’t bear to watch the one that got away.

That stinging disappointment only intensified when Simon Gagne, in his first game back after fracturing his right big toe in Game 2 of the quarterfinal series against the Devils, tallied the winner at 14:40 of OT.

“We came in here, played two pretty good games,’’ said Recchi, who scored three goals in two games here. “But they battled hard and they got a big win, so now we’re going home. We’ve had home ice in this series and we’ve kept it. Now we’ve got to take a couple days off, get ready, regroup and recharge, and get ready for another big one Monday.’’

Asked if the pressure shifted on the Bruins, Recchi replied, “Well, we’ve still got home ice, so I don’t really see that. We’re just going to have to keep playing our game.

“We knew it was going to be a great series and we knew that they wouldn’t quit. We just about ended it, but, you know, we’re going back home and we’ve got two of the next three at home and we’ll be ready to play and we’ll see what happens.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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