NEWARK, N.J. — Emotion simply overcame Brian Boyle.
As much as the veteran center tried to remain upbeat after being diagnosed with cancer at the start of the Devils’ training camp, Boyle has acknowledged it was a scary time for him and his family. So, when his first goal as a Devil came in his fifth game back in the lineup Thursday, Boyle could not contain his feelings.
"I’ve never cried after a goal before," Boyle said. "That’s a great feeling. It’s everything."
Unfortunately, the emotional beginning didn’t have a good ending for the Devils, who lost their fourth straight, 3-2 to the Oilers in overtime.
Connor McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl’s winner with 16.3 seconds left in the extra period.
Boyle’s goal at 5:33 of the first gave the Devils a 1-0 lead. He got to the right post to knock the rebound of Brian Gibbons’ shot past goalie Cam Talbot after Gibbons had taken a swipe at Boyle’s initial shot.
Skating around to his right as his teammates surrounded him, Boyle screamed in relief, cried, pumped his arm in a windmill of celebration and pounded his body against the glass.
Boyle, 32, has chronic myelogenous leukemia, a form of blood and bone marrow cancer. Doctors have said it was caught early and is treatable with medication. He has to take medication in the morning and before he goes to bed, but that’s all the treatment he needs at the moment.
Game highlights: Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek each had a goal and two assists to lead the host Flyers over the Blackhawks 3-1.