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Marco Sturm left early in Game 1 in Boston. Sturm will need six months to recover from surgery to mend torn knee ligaments, the team said. ((Elsa/Getty Images))

Marco Sturm will miss the rest of the Boston Bruins season with a right knee injury that likely will sideline him at the start of next season.

General manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday that Sturm tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee in Saturday's opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals and will have surgery within four to six weeks. Recovery is estimated to take six months after the operation, the club said.

Sturm, Boston's leading goal scorer in the regular season, was hurt on the first shift of Boston's 5-4 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Game 2 is Monday night.

"It's unfortunate news for our hockey club and certainly for him, who has battled through a major injury last year and was really looking forward to these playoffs," said coach Claude Julien.

On Dec. 18, 2008, Sturm tore ligaments in his left knee and missed the rest of the season.

On Saturday, the Bruins left wing fell after throwing a check at Matt Carle. Aided by teammates Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi, he skated to the bench as he flexed his right knee.

Sturm, 31, had 22 goals during the regular season but had no goals or assists in his seven postseason games.

In 855 regular-season games in his career, he had 234 goals and 232 assists.