BOSTON — Emerging from a moment of silence with a deafening cheer, fans at Wednesday's Bruins game paid tribute to the victims of Monday's Boston Marathon bombing with a stirring national anthem and a thunderous chant of "U.S.A.!"
Even after Buffalo won 3-2 in a shootout, fans departed while chanting "U.S.A.!"
"That's what Boston is all about," said Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, whose team still clinched a playoff berth by earning a point. "The city's a winner. It was something very special to be a part of."
Outside, fans at the first major sporting event in the city since the attack dealt with metal detectors and random car inspections. Inside, they watched a video with scenes from the race, ending with the words, "We are Boston. We are Strong."
A flag was brought out to honor first responders who aided the three killed and more than 170 hurt. Longtime Boston Garden troubadour Rene Rancourt sang only the first few lines of the national anthem, allowing the crowd to carry the tune.
"I was definitely fighting back tears," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said.
Players on both teams wore "Boston Strong" decals on their helmets. Ads on the dasher boards and video screens gave the website for a relief fund.
"It was tough to come to the rink and focus on hockey," Bruins wing Shawn Thornton said. "You feel like you should be doing more than getting ready for a hockey game. But if we can take people's minds off it for a few hours, great."
Bruins players and staff collected 80 tickets to the game to donate to the first responders. Marchand raffled off his suite for the first playoff game with the proceeds to go to the family of 8-year-old Martin Richards, who died.
"We understood what it meant to Boston," said Buffalo's Ryan Miller, the starting goalie on the 2010 U.S. Olympic team. "We're happy to see from all this terribleness that Boston has pride, Boston cares and people are coming together."
Around the league: Canadiens wing Ryan White was suspended five games for Monday's check to the head of Flyers defenseman Kent Huskins, who is out indefinitely with a concussion. … Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is set to start tonight after missing three games with a groin injury.
|Sabres win shootout 1-0|
First Period—1, Boston, Paille 9 (Kelly), 5:45. 2, Buffalo, Vanek 17 (Ehrhoff, Ennis), 18:20 (pp). Penalties—Hecht, Buf (slashing), 8:43; Marchand, Bos (tripping), 12:53; Chara, Bos (interference), 17:44.
Second Period—3, Boston, Kelly 3 (Paille, Ference), 14:48. Penalties—None.
Third Period—4, Buffalo, Hodgson 14 (Vanek, Stafford), 19:33 (pp). Penalties—Bergeron, Bos (hooking), :49; Lucic, Bos, double minor (high-sticking), 4:57; Ference, Bos (delay of game), 19:12.
Overtime—None. Penalties—Weber, Buf (closing hand on puck), 4:56.
Shootout—Buffalo 1 (Vanek NG, Gerbe NG, Stafford G), Boston 0 (Seguin NG, Bergeron NG, Marchand NG). Shots on Goal—Buffalo 9-7-11-5—32. Boston 12-10-17-4—43. Power-play opportunities—Buffalo 2 of 6; Boston 0 of 2. Goalies—Buffalo, Miller 15-17-5 (43 shots-41 saves). Boston, Khudobin 9-3-1 (32-30).
First Period—1, Pittsburgh, Sutter 10 (Niskanen, Letang), 7:24. 2, Pittsburgh, Morrow 10 (Pa.Dupuis, Adams), 9:30. 3, Pittsburgh, Iginla 11 (Kunitz, Letang), 19:39 (pp). Penalties—Cooke, Pit (roughing), 5:36; Gallagher, Mon (high-sticking), 6:38; Pacioretty, Mon (tripping), 18:22.
Second Period—4, Pittsburgh, Morrow 11 (Bennett, Niskanen), 4:07. 5, Montreal, Gionta 12 (Prust, Eller), 7:42. 6, Pittsburgh, Sutter 11 (Morrow, Kennedy), 10:30 (pp). 7, Montreal, Galchenyuk 8 (Eller, Moen), 17:35. Penalties—Kennedy, Pit (interference), 1:25; Gallagher, Mon (hooking), 9:38; Glass, Pit (roughing), 14:58; Gallagher, Mon, double minor (high-sticking), 19:29.
Third Period—8, Montreal, Dumont 1 (Desharnais, Pacioretty), 4:09. 9, Pittsburgh, Murray 1 (Iginla), 5:24. 10, Montreal, Markov 9 (Desharnais, Weber), 19:49. Penalties—Bourque, Mon (roughing), 7:05; Subban, Mon, major (fighting), 7:05; Morrow, Pit, major (fighting), 7:05; Prust, Mon (slashing), 14:54; Morrow, Pit (cross-checking), 14:54; Subban, Mon, served by Galchenyuk, minor-misconduct (roughing), 15:28. Shots on Goal—Montreal 11-11-13—35. Pittsburgh 9-8-12—29. Power-play opportunities—Montreal 0 of 3; Pittsburgh 2 of 7. Goalies—Montreal, Budaj (9 shots-6 saves), Price 19-11-4 (0:00 second, 20-17). Pittsburgh, Fleury 22-6-0 (35-31).