BOSTON – Another emotional video tribute. Another stirring performance of the national anthem by a packed arena. Another hockey game in Boston.
The sport returned to the city Saturday, a day after a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was captured, and the fans welcomed their Bruins back with cheers and greeted the Pittsburgh Penguins with jeers.
The Penguins clinched home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 3-2 win in the Bruins’ second game since the bombings. It had been postponed from Friday night because of the manhunt. The mood was more somber Wednesday night in another 3-2 loss at home in a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres.
It was a little more of a celebration with everyone here, more of an opportunity for us to thank (police) and give our respects for the amazing job they did, Boston’s Brad Marchand said. It just seems like there’s a whole different aura around the building. ... Everyone was a little more safe and excited that it’s over.
Pittsburgh won its sixth straight game despite the continued absence of some top offensive players. NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby missed his eighth game with a broken jaw, James Neal sat out his fifth because of a concussion and last season’s NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin was sidelined for his third with a shoulder injury.
ISLANDERS 5, JETS 4, SO: In Winnipeg, Manitoba, John Tavares scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift New York. The Islanders are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, one point ahead of Ottawa.
DEVILS 6, PANTHERS 2: In Newark, N.J., Patrik Elias scored twice as New Jersey kept its faint playoff hopes alive by rallying from a two-goal deficit.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, SENATORS 1: In Ottawa, Ontario, James Reimer put in a monstrous effort with 49 saves as Toronto clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2004.
James van Riemsdyk scored twice, and Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul also had goals for the Maple Leafs.
FLYERS 5, HURRICANES 3: In Raleigh, N.C., Wayne Simmonds got his first career hat trick to lead the Philadelphia won for the third time in four games.
CAPITALS 5, CANADIENS 1: In Montreal, Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin each scored twice to lead Washington, which won for the 13th time in 16 games.