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Pens, fans forced to adjust with unsettled Boston situation

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Dustin Jeffrey, Brooks Orpik, Craig Adams and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers on January 19, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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Friday, April 19, 2013, 11:24 p.m.
 

BOSTON — Alycia King wanted a hug from home.

King, 21, a Kittanning native, had tickets for the Penguins' game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Friday night.

That game, postponed because of a manhunt that had Boston and surrounding communities under lockdown until about 6:30 p.m. Friday, tentatively is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

King, living in Dracut, Mass., while on an internship at Southern New Hampshire University, is a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

She also is a diehard Penguins fans, though hockey has not occupied her thoughts in an unsettling week that began Monday with bombings at the Boston Marathon.

“I can't process what's happened this week,” King said. “I just wish I could hug my parents back at home right now.”

Boston has been a second home for Penguins forward Craig Adams, who graduated from Harvard and married the daughter of former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci.

Adams and other members of the Penguins' organization were not permitted to leave the hotel Friday. Outside his window, streets were marked only by police; sounds were limited to sirens.

“The thing that struck me this morning when watching the (TV) ticker is everything canceled,” Adams said. “All the colleges closed, the (train), no taxis — it just hits home. I can't imagine another circumstance when a whole city would be shut down like this.”

The Penguins' game against Buffalo at Consol Energy Center, scheduled for Saturday night, will be played Tuesday.

The postponement of the Bruins game is the 16th in Penguins history, according to PittsburghHockey.net.

The team arrived in Boston later than planned Thursday, as their charter flight was moved to accommodate Air Force One, which transported President Barack Obama.

Most Penguins personnel were sleeping early Friday while a firefight broke out between authorities and the Russian-born suspects of the bombings.

The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in Dagestan, which neighbors Chechnya in southern Russia. They had been in the United States for about a decade, an uncle said, and were believed to be living in Cambridge, Mass.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in the gunfight early Friday. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured Friday night.

Matt Talbot, a Penguins fan attending Rhode Island University, had paid more than $400 for two tickets to the Bruins game. He awoke to televised reports of the gunfight and advice from a friend to “change plans.”

“That whole manhunt just changed everything,” said Talbot, 25, a native of Presque Isle, Maine. “I've been looking forward to the game, but I'm not about jeopardize my safety.”

Talbot said he would probably attend the game Saturday.

Adams said “it will be tough to focus.”

“Once you get to the rink, routine will take over,” he said. “Obviously I hope something can be resolved sooner rather than later. We'll do our best. It's a unique situation.”

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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