With Boston itching to get back to some semblance of normalcy following Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, the Boston Bruins hosted the first pro sports event in the city since the attacks in front of a sell-out crowd of 17,565 at TD Garden Wednesday.
“It’s been a sad last two days,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara told NBC Sports moments before last night’s game against the Sabres. “We want to help. We know we represent this city and we want to show that support the best way we know, and that’s to play this game and play the best we can.”
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference spoke on the tough nature of Boston residents.
“They call themselves Massholes for a reason. They’re tough as nails … they set the bar high,” said Ference to NBC.
The TD Garden was illuminated on its exterior with blue and yellow colors, the colors of the Boston Marathon logo.
A Bruins t-shirt, which had the name “Martin Richard” written above a No. 8 on the back, was draped on the Bobby Orr statue outside of the Garden. Richard, an 8-year-old Bruins fan, was killed in the bombings on Monday.
A video tribute was shown to the Garden crowd in the pregame ceremonies, with the words “Boston strong” flashing on the scoreboard. As has been tradition for over three decades at Bruins home games, singer Rene Rancourt delivered his unique rendition of the national anthem. This time, however, Rancourt paused early in the song, allowing the sell-out crowd to sing the rest of the anthem.
Chants of “USA! USA! USA!” then rang out through the Garden just prior to the puck drop.