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TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 6: Bobby Ryan #9 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on October 6, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Senators’ Bobby Ryan Records Hat Trick Following Return From Alcohol Abuse Program

Ottawa Senators‘ rightwing Bobby Ryan recorded a hat trick in the team’s 5-2 win over the Canucks Thursday night. It was his second game back after returning from a joint NHL/NHLPA assistance program for alcohol abuse that Ryan checked into on November 20.

The passionate Ottawa fans were chanting his name following each goal he scored and holding signs that read, “We missed you.” He also received a standing ovation as the game concluded.

“I knew Ottawa being the community that it is that the reception would be good,” Ryan told ESPN. “It just got harder to keep the emotions down throughout the game. It was incredible. They supported me and I got to contribute. You can’t write that, the way that went. It was just an incredible evening, so thank you to all of them.”

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Ryan last scored on October 2, but he gave his team a boost when they most needed it. He scored his first goal in the first period off a deflection and his second goal in the third was very skillful as he kicked the puck to his stick before shooting it into the net. He wrapped up the game for Ottawa with an empty net goal late in the third period to make it 5-2.

“Sometimes in hockey, you get those moments, and that was one,” Senators coach D.J. Smith told MSN.

Ryan thanked his wife for sticking by his side through adversity and said she also deserved the first star of the game. “To have her support and not just have her support as a hockey player, but as a husband and everything it just means a ton,” Ryan said.

Canucks coach Travis Green admitted it was a very special moment regardless of the loss. “You don’t ever like to lose or see other players score on you, but it was obvious by the reaction of the crowd, and there’s still that human element in the game that when guys go through tough things or battle through things,” Green said. “It was just good to see him back out there playing.”

In 827 games played, Ryan has 253 goals and 301 assists. He started his career with the Anaheim Ducks and has spent the last 6.5 years with the Senators.

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