BOSTON — Security was tightened at the TD Garden, where the Boston Bruins played the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night in the first major sporting event in the city since the marathon bombings.
Cars were searched inside and out before entering the arena’s underground garage, with guards using a mirror on a pole to check the undercarriage. Sports writers, usually subject to only the most cursory inspection, were waved with a metal-detecting wand when passing through security.
The Bruins paid tribute to the victims of the marathon bombings prior to the game against the Sabres. After the players emerged from the dressing rooms, there was a moment of silence while the scoreboard showed a blue- and-yellow “Boston Strong” ribbon.
After the moment of silence, images from Monday’s events were shown on the scoreboard.
National anthem singer Rene Rancourt, without his usual accompaniment from organist Ron Poster, started to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” into his microphone. Rancourt then lowered the mike to allow the crowd to finish the anthem.
Players from both teams wore “Boston Strong” decals on the backs of their helmets.
“It brings back memories you don’t want,” said Bruins forward Jay Pandolfo, who was with the New Jersey Devils during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “It’s something you don’t want to think about. You want to go ahead with your life. You don’t want to live in fear.”
Inside the Garden lobby, which doubles as the North Station rail terminal, uniformed and plain-clothed police wandered among the commuters. Police cars and motorcycles were lined up on an access road outside.
Garden officials lit the building in blue and yellow, the colors of the Boston Athletic Association, at night. Other plans for ceremonies and tributes were still being completed as of yesterday morning, Bruins spokesman Eric Tosi said.