For Alex Morse, it was good to be back.
The longtime Washington Capitals season ticket holder made his return to Capital One Arena for the team's home opener on Saturday, the first game he has attended since he was struck in the head by a stray bullet on New Year's Day.
"So much excitement, joy," Morse told NHL.com about seeing the game in person again. "It was emotional for sure, but happy, absolutely."
Morse, who has been through multiple surgeries and currently uses a wheelchair, was accompanied to the game by his fianceé, Rebecca Newbill.
The Capitals gave Morse and Newbill, who were engaged in June, the VIP treatment, inviting them to hang out on the team's red carpet where he got autographs from T.J. Oshie, Braden Holtby, Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin among others.
"Heidi (Hafker, Capitals manager of community relations) reached out to us to see if he'd be up for coming to a game and she was able to give us these seats," Newbill told NHL.com. "We came to do the red carpet, so we got a few autographs."
Morse, who got a visit from the Stanley Cup while still in his hospital room back in June - he even got to re-create Alex Ovechkin's famous photo lying in bed with the Cup.
But there's nothing like being there in person and Morse was happy to check out a game in person.
"It was great," Morse said.
NHL.com Staff Writer Tom Gulitti contributed to this report.