The Boston Bruins clinched a playoff spot and moved into top spot in the Northeast Division on Wednesday thanks to the single point that resulted from a 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
But the Bruins, perhaps more so than ever before, were playing for the people of Boston, just two days removed from the Boston Marathon bombings.
The night included honoring the victims of Monday’s tragedy, as well as first responders.
There was an emotional soliloquy from NHL on NBC play-by-play man Mike “Doc” Emrick prior to the game and a video tribute ‘We are Boston, we are strong.’
“It was a pretty emotional start,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference told NHL.com. “I think me and [Dennis Seidenberg] were over besides each other, especially during the anthem, I think just trying to hold it together a bit. It was pretty awesome hearing everybody sing like that. And obviously the emotions were pretty high.
“We all knew that tonight was more than just another game. It meant a lot to people as another step [in the healing process] and it was no different for us on the ice trying to have some remembrance of the last couple days but also move on as well to getting back to business in this city.
“It was tough. It was really tough. The first shift I think everybody was pretty choked up. I can’t remember being that emotional on the ice except for the last few seconds when we won the Cup (in 2011). I think that was the only equal as far as emotions.”