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Sens, Habs and Leafs pay tribute to fallen soldier

Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators

OTTAWA, ON - MARCH 16: Chris Phillips #4, Cody Ceci #5, Bobby Ryan #6, Kyle Turris #7 and Clarke MacArthur #16 of the Ottawa Senators look on during the singing of the national anthems prior to an NHL game against the Colorado Avalanche during an NHL game at Canadian Tire Centre on March 16, 2014 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

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The Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens will pay tribute to the fallen soldier from Wednesday morning’s shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa prior to puck drop tonight.

Saturday marks the Senators’ first game since Wednesday’s tragedy, which also forced the postponement of their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs that night.

Together the three Canadian teams hosting 7 p.m. eastern time starts, will have a ceremony to honor soldiers Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent, who lost their lives this week.

The Senators face the New Jersey Devils at home while the Boston Bruins are in Toronto and the Canadiens host the New York Rangers in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference final.

The anthem is expected done from Ottawa and piped through to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and Montreal’s Bell Centre.

Additionally, the teams will hold a moment of silence for Cirillo and Vincent, who was killed in a hit and run in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

“As we continue to reflect on the tragic circumstances surrounding the deaths of two of our country’s soldiers on Canadian soil, we do so with heavy hearts,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk told the Ottawa Sun. “But what doesn’t break us, makes us stronger. Today our country stands more united than ever and so does the entire NHL family.

“We are pleased to join forces with the Canadiens and Leafs in co-ordinating a unique and special tribute (in) honour and recognition of these two brave soldiers, their families and all members of our Canadian military.”

On Wednesday night prior to puck drop between the Penguins and Flyers at the Consol Energy Center, the Canadian anthem was sung to honor the fallen Canadian soldier.

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, who spent parts of six seasons with the Penguins, said the gesture shows the closeness of the hockey world.

“That’s the hockey world, its’ one big family and when things like that do take place it shows the unity that the league does possess and it’s a great tribute on behalf of the Pittsburgh hockey club and their fans,” he said.

On Saturday night, despite being enemies once the puck drops, the Leafs, Canadiens and Senators will once again show that unity as they come together to pay tribute to the fallen Canadian soldiers.

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