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Senators' Ryan enjoys rare Philadelphia homecoming

by Dan Rosen

PHILADELPHIA -- It's a quick homecoming for Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, but it's a homecoming nonetheless and his first in more than three years.

Ryan will play Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center for the first time since Oct. 21, 2010, when he visited here with the Anaheim Ducks. Wells Fargo Center is a 20-minute drive from his hometown of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Ryan estimated he'll have 40-50 friends and family members in the stands.

"Obviously when you can have family, friends and people you grew up with in the stands it means more to you," Ryan said Tuesday. "I don't spend much time here anymore, a couple of weeks in the summer is about it, but it's still home, it's where I grew up, so it's always nice. It's a big homecoming."

Despite not playing at Wells Fargo Center for more than three years, Ryan still is quite familiar with the building. His family had season tickets to Flyers games when he was growing up and he was there for the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, when Canada beat the United States in overtime to win the first game in the best-of-three final.

Ryan called that World Cup game his favorite memory from his days attending games here as a kid.

"That was my first hockey experience that I can relate to," he said.

He said he vividly recalls the game he played here with the Ducks because it was the night Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger knocked out two of his teeth.

"So that was a fun night," Ryan said, joking. "Then I had to go see him and say hello to him after the game, and that was even harder."

This will be Ryan's only trip to Philadelphia during the regular season. The Senators play the Flyers one more time, but that game is at Canadian Tire Centre on Dec. 9.


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