Satan continues to bedevil Flyers

Tuukka Rask manned his post admirably, stuffing this behind-the-net scoring bid by Arron Asham in the second period. Tuukka Rask manned his post admirably, stuffing this behind-the-net scoring bid by Arron Asham in the second period. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / May 4, 2010

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The Satan worshippers among the Gallery Gods were not about to let the object of their deep and unabiding affection — Bruins right winger Miroslav Satan — go without some kind of recognition for his contribution in Game 2’s 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

With about 3:39 left in the second period of last night’s game at TD Garden, about six minutes after Satan had given the Bruins a 2-1 lead by beating Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher five hole from the right point, several loyal followers unveiled a large white sheet that read: “Satan: Putting goalies through Hell since 1993.’’

Although he wasn’t able to see the sign, Satan was nonetheless pleased to learn about his worshippers’ handiwork.

“Definitely, I’ve seen a few funny ones, yeah’’ said Satan, whose last name is pronounced “Sha-tan’’

What would have rivaled that one? “There was one, ‘Thank God for Satan,’ or ‘Sha-tan,’ whatever,’’ he said. “There have been some funny ones over the years, but I can’t remember all of them. There’s definitely a lot of room for people to play [with his last name].’’

Given Satan’s record of success against the Flyers, with 39 points in 59 career games vs. the Broad Street Bullies, the sign could have been amended to read, in part, “Putting Philly goalies through Hell since 1993.’’

After all, in these playoffs, who among the Bruins has been hotter than Satan?

With his second-period tally at 9:31 against Boucher (“It was a quick shot — five hole. I think he was maybe waiting on it to go up, and he stayed up a little longer and so I was able to beat him’’) and his assist on Milan Lucic’s winning goal at 17:03 of the third, Satan extended his point streak to five games with four goals and four assists for eight points in that stretch, giving him nine points (four goals) in six of his last seven games.

It was also his second straight multiple-point game in this semifinal series against the Flyers, third of the playoffs, and 15th in 81 career playoff games.

“It took a few weeks for me to know the environment and for the coaching staff and everybody to know me,’’ said Satan, who signed as a free agent Jan. 3. “Now I think I know what to do and how to adjust myself to be useful to the team.’’

The presence of Czech teammate David Krejci helped Satan become better acclimated with the ways of the Black and Gold. The fact that the 24-year-old Krejci “grew up in the same environment as me and basically in the same hockey school,’’ said Satan, 35, only helped to enhance their on-ice chemistry.

“He’s just a great player,’’ Krejci said of Satan. “Sometimes we speak our own language on the ice, so that helps, too. But I know what he can do, he’s got great hands. He’s [been] hot lately and so hopefully he’ll stay hot and I’ll try to help him as much as I can.’’

Asked if they engage in private conversations in their own tongue while on the ice, Satan said, “Well, I speak Slovak. He speaks Czech. I understand him. I could speak if I tried, but [there’s] no need. We both understand our language.’’

So seldom is there a time when something gets lost in translation. “Like I said, we don’t speak on the ice,’’ Satan said. “There’s no need, we just play.’’

But on the bench, however, it’s a different story. That’s when the two will exchange ideas in Czech.

“He’s a good guy and he lets me tell him what I think he should do and he listens and I try to do the same thing,’’ Krejci said. “Even though he’s much, much older than me and more experienced, he listens. Maybe that’s the key to our success, so far.’’

Bruins coach Claude Julien agreed. “Obviously a guy that comes in halfway through the season has a lot of catching up to do,’’ Julien said. “At first, it was about letting him find his game a little bit, we were managing his ice time. But you could see this guy has experience and he had experience in big games as well as part of the Stanley Cup team last year. He’s been through those situations.

“Again, we talked about guys that have the experience — he’s one of those guys and he’s shown it. He’s very calm, he’s poised, very good with the puck, seems to have good chemistry with Krejci. He’s been a real good addition.’’

The Satan worshippers would have one thing to say about that: “Amen.’’

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