New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle wants to serve as a role model in the fight against cancer.
He certainly was inspiring on Monday.
The cancer survivor scored three times for his first career hat-trick, leading the Devils to a 5-1 victory over the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins.
Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA Today
Boyle got his natural hat-trick on “Hockey Fights Cancer” night in Pittsburgh. It included two power-play goals and two redirections in front of the net.
“I love these nights, I really do,” Boyle said. “Just the initiative, and seeing the survivors on the ice and being recognized. Sometimes you feel kind of alone. It can be a dark place at times during a cancer fight, but to be seen, the support everybody shows and the money raised, it’s just a phenomenal thing.”
The 33-year-old Boyle was diagnosed with a form of bone marrow cancer at the beginning of training camp last season.
He underwent treatment, returned to the lineup in November last year and won the NHL’s Masterton Trophy for best exemplifying qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey.
“There’s ups and downs, just like life,” Boyle said. “The worst kind of part of it was when people felt sorry for you. They don’t know what to say and you want them to feel comfortable around you. I think it’s important to reach out and ask questions if you need help.”
Will Butcher had a goal and two assists for New Jersey, while Travis Zajac scored his fourth goal. Jean-Sebastien Dea, who spent the previous two seasons in Pittsburgh, had two assists.
The Devils stopped a three-game slide with their first road win.
They were outscored 15-6 during the losing streak.
Keith Kinkaid made 35 saves for New Jersey, who have won four of their past five against Pittsburgh.
“It’s an easy game to get up for [with Pittsburgh winning] two championships in the past three years,” Kinkaid said. “They’re a good team, but I think we match up well against them.”
Jamie Oleksiak scored for the Penguins, who have dropped four in a row.
Matt Murray stopped 23 shots in two periods before he was pulled for Casey DeSmith, who made 11 saves. Murray has allowed at least four goals in each of his five home starts.
Prior to their slide, Pittsburgh outscored the opposition 23-6 during a four-game winning streak. It was only the third time the Penguins have lost four straight under Mike Sullivan and the first time Pittsburgh have dropped four in a row at home under the fourth-year head coach.
Pittsburgh has two wins in seven home games this season. They won 30 home games each of the two previous seasons.
“A week ago, we were feeling good about ourselves when we won four in a row on the western Canada trip,” Sullivan said. “It’s not a good feeling when you’re in these types of situations, but we have to rely on one another to get out of it. We believe we have what it takes to be a very good team in the league.”
Boyle gave the Devils a 2-1 lead in the first period when he tipped a Ben Lovejoy shot behind Murray from the top of the crease.
Boyle extended the lead with a power-play goal in the second period. His between-the-legs redirection from the top of the crease made it a 3-1 game.
Boyle scored his second power-play goal off a one-timer from Taylor Hall with 19.7 seconds to play in the second period.
Hall has at least one point in 10 of 12 games this season.
“Scoring goals is the most fun thing in hockey, as an individual player, and then you can help a team win a game, especially the way we’ve been going lately, it’s a big one for us,” Boyle said.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very