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1.
The phrase is borrowed from the sport of ice hockey, but now applies in many contexts.

In hockey, a crude but effective save where the puck is diverted not with the end of the curved stick but with the handle. The player simply falls on the ice or bats at the puck with the stick. No points for style, and often fails, but a save is a save.

In other contexts, whenever a "player" manages to pull out a situational "save" at the last instant via reckless, feckless or random methods. As in financial markets, when institutions manage to move the market up in the last minutes of trading thus ensuring an "up" day, even though a "down" day was in the making.
Did you see the 100 point stick save in the run up to the market bell? You gotta give the PPT credit, that was a thing of beauty.
by cougar_w October 11, 2010