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Bruins reward fans with a victory and more

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  January 19, 2013 10:21 PM

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After Saturday's season opener, a group of fans were chosen to receive the jerseys off the Bruins' backs. Players skated over, took off their jerseys and shared a moment with their assigned fan.

So what did they talk about?

For defenseman Johnny Boychuck, it was a brief meeting without words.

For team captain Zdeno Chara, it was far more.

"I introduced myself, the lady introduced herself, and she told me she would like to dedicate that jersey to her husband that passed away two years ago, but she was very happy and thankful that we got to win the championship before he passed away, so that was very motivational and obviously inspirational," Chara said.

It's likely countless more of the thousands of fans who packed TD Garden had similar stories about how the black and gold runs through the family, and Saturday was their first chance to renew acquaintances with the home team after the NHL's lockout delayed the start of the season by more than three months.

The Bruins gave them a good show.

"We kind of looked like midseason form team there, so it's good to see," goalie Tuukka Rask said.

Rask backstopped the Bruins with 20 saves. Boychuck was impressed.

"He's a great goalie and tonight he stood on his head again and gave us a chance to win, even on that 5-on-3, he did a really good job," Boychuck said.

Coach Claude Julien was also pleased with the way the season opener went.

"I liked our effort tonight. Couldn't be happier because I liked the effort, the guys seemed to be pretty focused, thought we did some real good plays," Julien said. "As bad as we looked on Tuesday [in a preseason scrimmage vs. the Providence Bruins] was as good as we looked tonight."

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