The Ottawa Senators’ fans did right by one of their players Thursday. In his first home game since an extended absence, Bobby Ryan netted his fifth career hat trick and held back tears as his name echoed throughout the Canadian Tire Centre.
The Senators snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks.
Thirty-one seconds after Connor Brown opened the scoring, Ryan redirected a pass from Nikita Zaitsev to give Ottawa a two-goal advantage in the first period. Ryan would later add two goals within 19 seconds of each other to seal the victory for the Senators. Brady Tkachuk fetched the puck from Ryan’s third goal out of the back of the net after assisting on the empty-net tally.
There are no words for moments like these.
It's great to have you back, Bobby! pic.twitter.com/JYdcMIpCuj
— NHL (@NHL) February 28, 2020
Ryan returned to action earlier this week after he entered an NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program to help with an alcohol addiction in late November.
Ryan struggled in the beginning of the season and only recorded one goal in the Senators’ first 21 games. Coach D.J. Smith was forced to scratch the high-priced veteran five times.
The 32-year-old has two years remaining ($7.25 million AAV) on his contract following this season.
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.