It was an emotional night at the Canadian Tire Centre.
In his first home game since returning to the Ottawa Senators lineup, Bobby Ryan potted a hat trick — his first three-goal game since 2014 and first multigoal game since 2016. The fans rejoiced and chanted his name, his teammates celebrated him and gave him stick taps. Ryan was in tears on the bench.
MORE: What a night for Bobby Ryan
The veteran of 12-plus years was playing in his 18th game of the 2019-20 season and his second game back after taking a leave of absence in November to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. Ryan recently revealed his struggles with alcohol.
Long considered one of the NHL's good guys, the American winger's night was heralded on Twitter by the hockey world.
He deserves every second of this. What a performance brother. You are a incredible human and this is what it’s all about. https://t.co/ijXD4pqu6a
— Nathan Thompson (@NateThompson44) February 28, 2020
This is incredible. Standing ovation for Bobby Ryan. Who gets emotional on the bench.
I really really hope his wife and kids are here right now. pic.twitter.com/BcQ4WFw8Dz
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) February 28, 2020
— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) February 28, 2020
This is awesome. So happy for Bobby Ryan, who has always been one of the really nice guys in the NHL. Great for Sens’ fan to make it even more special for him. https://t.co/zxkVbzXx9h
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 28, 2020
I cheer for people, not teams and this is just so great. Good for Bobby Ryan. https://t.co/j0tZxsLsCg
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) February 28, 2020
After 100 days of sobriety, Bobby Ryan returned to the Senators lineup and in his first game at home he gets a hattrick and a huge standing ovation!
These are the moments that make hockey special #HockeyGodsExistpic.twitter.com/6tVGbvCtDS
— The Hockey Gods! (@HockeyGods) February 28, 2020
David Ayres, Jay Bouwmeester, Bobby Ryan.
What a week for great hockey stories...and better people.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) February 28, 2020
No better story in sports right now than Bobby Ryan getting a hat trick tonight. So happy for him.
— Mike Grinnell (@MikeGrinnell_) February 28, 2020