Bruins pay tribute to Lucic, who responds with goal, assist and salute to the fans

Boston fans adored Milan Lucic and they showed their appreciation for the former Bruin Tuesday following a video tribute during his first game back in Beantown. They even cheered him after he scored against the Bruins. Post-game, Lucic took a lap to salute the fans.

For the past eight seasons, no player encapsulated the big, bad attitude of the Bruins quite like Milan Lucic. But with changes necessary in the off-season, Boston shipped Lucic to Los Angeles. In his first return to Beantown, though, the Bruins and the fans at TD Garden made sure to let Lucic know they appreciated all he did while wearing the Spoked ‘B’.

During a stoppage in the first period, the Bruins ran a video package paying tribute to Lucic. The package, set to Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’, shows the former Bruin doing work in the community, dropping the gloves, throwing a few big hits and highlights his Stanley Cup victory with Boston in 2011. After the package, Lucic saluted fans and received a standing ovation from the Bruins faithful:

It was a fitting tribute to Lucic, who earlier in the day had penned a letter to the Boston fans called for The Players’ Tribune, titled ‘To Boston.’ In it, Lucic wrote about meeting Johnny Bucyk and not knowing who he was, the sound after his first fight as a Bruin and how Boston was where he grew up. He added, “Coming back to the Garden for the first time this week, I’ll be battling the butterflies, for sure. Who knows, maybe I’ll just go out there and drop the mitts just to get the blood flowing. For old time’s sake.”

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Lucic’s night got even better, though, as the Kings picked apart the Bruins Tuesday. In a 9-2 destruction of the Bruins, Lucic skated nearly 18 minutes and picked up the primary assist on a Drew Doughty power play goal in the second frame. His night didn’t end with the one point, though, as he gave the Bruins fans who stayed in the building something to cheer about when he scored less than four minutes into the third frame:

The Bruins fans that remained in the building to see the Kings take the 7-1 lead applauded Lucic for netting the goal, and some even remained for the entirety of the 9-2 defeat.

Post-game, Lucic was egged on by teammates to give one last thank you to the Bruins crowd, and he did so with a salute to the fans during a brief skate around the ice:

(Video via 647 Hockeyvids)