BOSTON -- In one of the most inspiring moments of the NHL season, the Boston Bruins and their fans paid tribute to one of their own Saturday at TD Garden, just prior to the opening faceoff of Game 2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
As the team will do at every home game throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins recognized an honorary captain with a "Boston Strong" theme.
On Saturday, Boston Marathon victim and the evening's fan banner captain, Jeff Bauman, served that role in an emotional fashion, providing yet another reminder of the strength the community has shown in the wake of the marathon bombings late last month.
After the black carpet was laid down on the ice from the Zamboni entrance, Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombings, rolled his wheelchair three-quarters of the way out and began waving a "Boston Strong" flag to a rock concert-like ovation that grew in energy as it progressed.
"I want to thank everyone for their amazing support for me and all those injured and their families," Bauman said in a statement. "I'm making great progress and I thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers."
Bauman, a 27-year-old Costco worker, was instrumental in helping authorities identify the Boston bombing suspects and has been hailed extensively for the role he played in the process.
"Please continue to respect our space at this time," he said. "I want to thank the Bruins players and organization for the generosity and support for all those impacted. Like all those in Black and Gold, I can't wait to see them on another quest for the Cup."