Senators' Bobby Ryan scores emotional hat trick in first home game since rejoining team

Sporting News

Welcome home, Bobby Ryan.

In his first game in Ottawa since rejoining the team after entering the NHL/NHLPA assistance program, the Senators forward notched a hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

His fifth career three-goal game started off with a redirect of a Nikita Zaitsev shot over the shoulder of Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko. An emotional Ryan potted his first goal since opening night on Oct. 2 against Toronto.

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Fans at the Canadian Tire Centre gave him a standing ovation and started chanting his name, "Bobby, Bobby!"

Then in the third period with just over two minutes remaining, Ryan scored on a snapshot off a feed from forward Chris Tierney from behind the net to restore a two-goal lead for the Senators. It was his first multi-goal game since Jan. 4, 2016 against the Blues.

With Demko pulled for an extra attacker, Brady Tkachuk stole the puck in the corner and fed a charging Ryan to complete the hat trick.

Ryan's fellow teammates stick-tapped the boards and the fans stood and cheered as the veteran forward was overcome with emotions after netting his first three-goal night since Dec. 29, 2014 against the Sabres.

In just his 18th game of the season, Ryan was fittingly named the first star of the game.

After the game,

“The fans, the ovation when I went out at the end… I can’t say it enough. It's an incredible community of people.”

Bobby Ryan was emotional as he spoke to media after the game. pic.twitter.com/ibWIdqkJXJ

— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 28, 2020 " target="_blank">Ryan spoke with the media. He said as the reception got louder, it was harder to keep his emotions in check.

"It was incredible," he said. "They supported me and I guess to contribute ... you can't write that the way that went. It was just an incredible evening."

Ryan was also asked if he believed in the hockey gods.

"I do, but I didn't think I would be on their good side for everything that's gone on in my personal life the last little while," he said.

"I guess they granted me some reprieve and gave me a good night."

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