Devils forward Brian Boyle said he was able to embrace his first NHL All-Star Game and had his name chanted by the Amalie Arena crowd after the Metropolitan Division lost 7-4 to the Atlantic Division on Sunday.
Boyle, filling in for teammate Taylor Hall, who was unable to play due to a hand injury, did not record a point, but the former Lightning player returned to Tampa Bay for his first All-Star Game just months after he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia before the season.
"This meant a lot to me," said Boyle, who played 212 games as a member of the Lightning. "I think this has been just spectacular for me. I'll never forget this experience. ... It's a tremendous honor just to be here anyway, but [the fans] made it that much better, for sure."
The 33-year-old Boyle has 11 goals and six assists in 38 games with New Jersey this season. On Saturday, he finished second in the shooting accuracy competition as part of All-Star weekend.
"I've tried to soak it all in," Boyle said.