BOSTON — The clear, full shield over his face was the only thing different about Boston Bruins winger Michael Ryder tonight, as he scored a power-play goal and assisted on another score in a 6-1 win over Florida at TD Banknorth Garden.
After a seven-game absence due to facial surgery to repair a fracture, Ryder was spry and energetic during his 13:34 of ice time.
“I think when you’re out for so long and come back, you obviously get a little more pumped for your first game,” he said after the win, during which he skated back on a line with David Krejci and Blake Wheeler and also received time on the first power-play unit. “And I think skating a lot last week helped a lot. I think at first it was just my timing a little bit, but after a couple shifts, I felt good out there.”
As for the full shield, which he wore for the first time today after wearing a cage during practices, Ryder adapted fine.
“Probably the first few shifts, you notice it’s there. But then as the game moves on, you kind of forget about it,” said Ryder. “The only thing was breathing, you feel hot. But other than that it was pretty easy to get used to.”