It was Brian Boyle's first goal for the New Jersey Devils. And it was the first of his 94 NHL goals that made him cry.
In his fifth game back after undergoing treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Boyle scored in the first period of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center on Thursday.
After the goal, an ecstatic Boyle let out a scream, pumped his fists and even teared up while celebrating with teammates.
"I've never cried after a goal before," Boyle told MSG Network at the first intermission.
After the game, Boyle spoke about what he and his family have been through and how the emotion came pouring out after he scored.
"It was a wave of number of different things," Boyle said. "My family. My wife (Lauren) has been through the wringer. She's had to deal with a lot more than I'd say I have gone through. I'm not playing tonight and I'm not here if not for my wife and my family and these guys in here. I try to separate it, but it's a little bit bigger tonight than probably ever."
The goal was typical Boyle, attacking the net hard and staying with the play until the very end.
"You know what, it doesn't happen without [Brian Gibbons] too; it's from the start, he had time and he goes really hard to the net and he's not physically imposing by any means and sticks his nose in there and he's had a phenomenal year for us," Boyle said. "I've known Gibby for a long time. A couple of [Boston College] Eagles out there celebrating that goal was pretty fun."
"It was awesome," Devils forward Kyle Palmieri said. "He's been playing great hockey and he knows how to get to those areas and put pucks in the net so good to see him get rewarded and I know he had a big smile on his face, and we all did too."
"With what he's been through, to score his first goal as a Devil, was great. We're all happy for him," Devils forward Nico Hischier said.
Boyle, who will turn 33 in December, signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Devils this offseason. He was diagnosed with CML in September and said he owes thanks to his new teammates for their support.
"They've been in this too and have had to answer all these questions as well," Boyle said. "They welcomed me in from the start. I'm a new guy here, but they've been so supportive and phenomenal."
His first goal is the start of where he wants to be.
"If I'm going to play, I really want to make an impact," Boyle said. "Certain points tonight it was there but it's still a work in progress. I'm trying to get better for us."
"That guy is a hero. To see him here every day, always happy, always smiling, it's fantastic," Devils forward Jesper Bratt said. "He's been a great inspiration for me and for all the guys."
NHL.com staff writer Mike Morreale contributed to this report.