Suiting up in a New Jersey Devils uniform for “Hockey Fights Cancer” night was always going to be special for Brian Boyle. The 32-year-old is doing what he loves after undergoing cancer treatment in the fall, and here was a special evening to raise awareness for those battling with him.
Except that wouldn’t be enough, so the veteran winger went out and scored a huge goal in the Devils’ 3-2 win over the Canucks. It was the perfect cap to an emotional night for the Boyle family and the countless fans in Prudential Arena.
"The first one of the year was big for a number of different reasons, and that's something, that's just going to be different," Boyle said, via NJ.com. "But (Friday's), the timing of it sets up pretty nicely. I'll probably remember it for a while, because this day, start to finish, has been pretty inspiring to me."
Boyle cried after scoring his first goal of the season, a cathartic moment reflecting everything he had gone through simply to get back to that point. This time, he admitted it “got a little dusty” again after scoring for the second time of the season.
The unique circumstances of the game might’ve had something to do with that. Boyle’s family came out before the contest for a ceremonial puck drop:
After the game, he was named the No. 1 star to a raucous crowd:
Boyle may not get that many more chances to score this season — he’s only topped 15 goals in a season once — but he’s already had two very special goals. Let’s hope he’s got a bunch more in him.