Brian Boyle scores as Devils beat Canucks, 3-2, on NHL Hockey Fights Cancer Night

Brian Boyle scores as Devils beat Canucks, 3-2, on NHL Hockey Fights Cancer Night

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Devils Brian Boyle discusses his goal and the crowd reaction in Friday night's 3-2 win over the Canucks on NHL Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Prudential Center. Andrew Gross/NorthJersey.com

The New Jersey Devils celebrate a goal by center Brian Boyle (11) against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Prudential Center on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.(Photo: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

NEWARK – Hours before he sent the Prudential Crowd into a “Bri-an Boy-le, Bri-an Boy-le” chant with a dramatic power-play goal, the affable veteran, diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia at the start of training camp, was asked if he could imagine what his reaction would be if he scored on NHL Hockey Fights Cancer Night.

He had cried thinking of his family when he scored his first – and until Friday night’s game – only goal of the season. This time, his wife, Lauren, son, Declan, and baby daughter Isabella were in the building as he scored on the power play in the second period for the Devils in a 3-2 win over the Canucks and on the ice with him when he took the ceremonial opening faceoff.

“The first one of the year was a big one for a number of different reasons,” said Boyle, who scored in a 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Oilers on Nov. 9. “This day, start to finish, has been pretty inspiring to me, the people that I’ve seen here and the fan reaction and embracing the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative and my teammates doing the same. The shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, for me. It’s much appreciated and I’ll remember it forever.”

New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher, center, Brian Boyle, left, and left wing Taylor Hall (9) celebrate Boyle's goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Newark. Butcher and Hall assisted Boyle on the goal. (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Better yet for Boyle, 32, who signed a two-year, $5.5 million deal as a free agent this summer, this goal came in a victory.

Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists for the Devils (13-5-4) and Cory Schneider made 23 saves for the Devils to improve to 6-1-2 against his former team while Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 shots for the Canucks (11-9-3).

The Devils also won 2-0 at Vancouver on Nov. 1 – Boyle’s first game back in the lineup – as Schneider stopped 37 shots for his only shutout of the season.

Schneider and Boyle were also teammates at Boston College from 2004-07.

“Yeah,” Schneider said, when asked if he got emotional watching his friend and neighbor. “Seeing his family out there.

“The way Bri carries himself, you wouldn’t even know it,” Schneider added. “He’s just done a great job. He’s compartmentalized it and is focusing on hockey and trying to make us a better team. Everything that’s gone on the first few months here, it’s almost hard to believe from the first day of training camp, when we heard the news, to here we are only two and a half months later and he’s scoring goals and playing hockey.”

Daniel Sedin’s redirection at the crease tied the game at 1 at 5:36 of the second period but rookie defenseman Will Butcher set up Boyle’s goal with a burst of speed through the Canucks zone before feeding the puck to the slot.

New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) kisses his wife, Lauren Bedford, after he participated in the ceremonial puck drop during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Newark. (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Boyle, after scoring, immediately pointed to Butcher and raced over to hug him along the right boards.

“I just wanted to get over to Butchy,” Boyle said. “What a play.”

As the two celebrated together, the fans starting chanting Boyle’s name.

“I was happy that [my family] was there,” said Boyle, playing for his fifth NHL team. “As far as the crowd goes, it’s a pretty special feeling to feel that support. I think it says a lot about the crowd and the fans here in this particular city. I’ve felt the love in other cities but the way they’ve embraced me, the fans have reached me. I saw the signs and it’s a very special feeling.”

Hall, with his first goal in five games, had given the Devils a 1-0 lead at 2:15 of the second period. Damon Severson deposited the rebound of Hall’s backhander off the left post for a 3-1 lead at 15:45 of the second period before Bo Horvat’s power-play goal at 10:37 of the third period cut the Devils’ lead to one.

E-mail: [email protected]

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Devils coach John Hynes likes the complete effort from his team as it beats the Canucks, 3-2, on Friday night at Prudential Center. Andrew Gross/NorthJersey.com

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Source : http://www.northjersey.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/2017/11/24/brian-boyle-scores-devils-beat-canucks-x-x-nhl-hockey-fights-cancer-night-cory-schneider-chant/893529001/

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