Welcome home, Bobby Ryan.
In his first game in Ottawa since rejoining the team after entering the NHL/NHLPA assistance program, the Senators forward notched a hat trick in a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Ryan redirected a Nikita Zaitsev shot over the shoulder of Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko after a Canucks turnover in the first period for his first goal since Oct. 2.
Fans at the Canadian Tire Centre gave Ryan a standing ovation and started chanting his name.
With 2:08 remaining in the third period, Ryan scored a snapshot goal following a feed from forward Chris Tierney behind the net to restore a two-goal lead for the Senators.
Following Ryan’s second goal of the night, the Canucks pulled Demko for an extra attacked. After Ottawa cleared the puck the length of the ice, Brady Tkachuk stole the puck in the corner and fed a charging Ryan to complete the hat trick.
Ryan’s fellow teammates stick tapped the boards as he was emotional on the bench following the empty-net goal.
In his 18th game of the season, Ryan was named the first star of the game.
Ryan spoke to the media Feb. 21 about his battle with alcohol, saying he couldn’t fight it on his own.
“I’d have 20 days of nothing and one real bad one and you just can’t get better without help,” Ryan said.
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