CHICAGO -- Count the Chicago Blackhawks among those who were moved watching the Boston Bruins and their fans pay tribute to the Boston Marathon victims before Wednesday's game against the Buffalo Sabres.
Following a video presentation of images from the day of the bombings, Rene Rancourt sang the national anthem on Wednesday, then lowered his microphone and allowed the fans to sing the rest of the way at the TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday.
"Actually watched that whole game," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said on Thursday. "From the start on, I found myself sitting on the couch saying, this is real cool, this is awesome, things like that. They showed people in the crowd after wiping their tears away.
"Sometimes sports can take away a little bit of the pain of what's going on in the world. Sometimes it's a good thing for fans to get away whether it's watching a hockey game or enjoy something like that. The national anthem was awesome, I think the guy sang two or three words and let the crowd sing the rest of the time. That's cool stuff. I think that's show how great this country really is."
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp also was unable to turn the channel.
"That was cool," Sharp said. "I watched the whole game. I wouldn't normally watch a Bruins-Sabres game, but the crowd, it was an emotional game. The national anthem was great. I thought the end of the game was even cooler. Both teams saluted the crowd and everyone stuck around. It was pretty cool to watch."
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford didn't see the national anthem live, but he still felt the emotion of it when watching a replay on Thursday morning.
"It was pretty special," Crawford said. "Obviously, it was pretty tragic what happened. Kind of the world we live in where people do that sort of thing; it's brutal. It seems like a pretty strong city, and everyone is getting behind each other for the families."
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville believes Boston showed its character on the night.
"It was a special moment," Quenneville said. "When Rene sings, he's got some real personality. Just to give it to the fans there, and they took over. Boston fans are real passionate fans and a great sports town. I thought they rallied around one another very well [Wednesday night.] It was a fun game to watch, too, very emotional as well."