On Monday afternoon, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, killing three, including Martin Richard, an eight-year old Bruins fan, and injuring 176. In the wake of the tragedy, a game could simply not be played at TD Garden.
While other NHL games carried on, Boston remained in the heads and hearts of everyone on Monday night.
Moments of silence were observed at all arenas where games were played -- Colorado, Phoenix, Calgary, Nashville, Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto.
In Chicago, where the national anthem is a unique tradition, fans screaming and cheering throughout, the Star-Spangled Banner was especially loud.
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, a Boston native, wore skates with the words "Pray for Boston" written on the heel. Other players reacted to the bombings on Twitter, sending their thoughts and prayers to those affected by the tragedy.
A few members of the Senators who weren't scheduled to play in yesterday's original game almost went by the Boston Marathon's finish line, where the bombings occurred, to watch the race.
"After the pre-game skate, me and a couple of the guys were talking (about going to) see the Boston Marathon," Senators forward Jim O'Brien told TSN this afternoon. "It's obviously a big deal, and being in Boston, how often do you get to experience it? We were all thinking after lunch we were going to go up there, (but) a couple of the guys were tired.
"We would've been right there for it. Whether we would've been hurt or not, it's still kind of one of those events where I don't even know how I would've reacted to it had I had been there"
Hockey fans are passionate about "their" team. Rivalries are big. On Monday night, however, it didn't matter whether the Boston Bruins were your team's biggest competitor. The world of hockey came together in support of one thing: the City of Boston. That message was clear, from the league, players, and fans alike.
The Bruins will play at home again on Wednesday night, and they have vowed to "play their hearts out," for the city, those affected, and for eight-year-old Martin Richard, who surely would have loved to be at the game.