The best of Brian Boyle

New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle (11) as he is introduced during the NHL All-Star Game at Amalie Arena. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle (11) as he is introduced during the NHL All-Star Game at Amalie Arena. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
Published April 11

Beloved former Lightning player Brian Boyle is back in town for Tampa Bay's first-round playoff series with New Jersey. It's the perfect time to look back at some of his most memorable moments in uniform.

Brian Boyle’s top three moments with Tampa Bay

The Chicken Dance. Boyle taunted the Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader during Game 3 of the first-round playoff series in 2016 because Abdelkader would not fight him. Boyle broke out the now infamous chicken dance as he skated to the bench.

The OT winner. In Game 3 of the second-round series in 2016, Boyle scored 2:48 into overtime to beat the Islanders 5-4 in Brooklyn. Boyle's goal enabled the Lightning to take the lead in the series that it went on to win in five games.

The All-Star Game. We know, we know. Technically Boyle was no longer a Lightning player when he came back to Amalie Arena in January for the NHL All-Star Game, his first. But you would not have guessed that by the ovations he received — first during the skills competition, then during player introductions on game day.

RELATED: Former Lightning teammates, coach thrilled for Boyle

Boyle’s top three moments with New Jersey

The ovation. It was the first game of the regular season and the first time Devil fans saw Nico Hischier, the franchise savior who was top pick in the 2017 draft, in uniform. But the biggest ovation was saved for Boyle, who did not dress after having been diagnosed weeks earlier with chronic myeloid leukemia.

The first goal. In his fifth game since returning from leukemia, Boyle scored his first goal of the season. It came during the first period against the Oilers. Boyle first raised his arms over his head, then dropped to his knees while pumping his fists and trying to fight back tears.

Brian Boyle of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his first goal with the team against the Oilers on Nov. 9. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

His next goal. Boyle's second goal of the season game fittingly on "Hockey Fights Cancer Night." His wife, Lauren, and their two kids were on the ice pregame for the ceremonial puck drop. Then in the second period, Boyle did it again, scoring against the Canucks and bringing the crowd inside the Prudential Center to its feet.

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