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Bruins cancel morning skate; Red Sox on hold

Friday - 4/19/2013, 3:04pm  ET

Fans react with flags after the singing of the national anthem at TD Garden in Boston, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, during a pregame ceremony in the aftermath of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) -- Boston Red Sox players and other team employees have been told to stay home until a decision is made on whether Friday night's game will be played.

The night game between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins also was on hold after the NHL teams canceled their morning skates because of the manhunt for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

"We're just following the lead of the city officials and we have no word yet on what's going to happen," Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy said, "but employees have been told to stay home following the lead of the city officials.

"Players have been told to stay home and stay safe and we're just awaiting any word like everybody else."

The Red Sox are scheduled to play the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg said the Royals have been in town since Wednesday night and spent their off day in the city on Thursday.

The bombings near the marathon finish line on Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180. Police identified two suspects. One was killed during a shootout with police and the other was being sought in a massive manhunt Friday that virtually shut down the city and some suburbs.

The Royals are staying at the Westin Copley Place hotel, about a block from the marathon finish line.

"We've been told not to go outside. We've been told the hotel has been locked down, although I've seen a handful of people moving around," Royals vice president Mike Swanson said. "The streets are just, wow. It's numbingly quiet for a noon hour in Boston."

Bruins spokesman Matt Chmura said the team has no announcement yet on whether it will proceed with Friday night's game at TD Garden. The Bruins also announced that the sale of playoff tickets, scheduled to start at 11 a.m. on Friday, has been put off until 11 a.m. on Monday.

The New England Patriots postponed for the second time a news conference with director of player personnel Nick Caserio about next week's NFL draft. The news conference originally had been scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed after the bombings. It has been rescheduled for Monday.

The bombings already have resulted in two major pro sports games in Boston getting scratched -- the Bruins against the Ottawa Senators last Monday night and the Indiana Pacers against the Celtics on Tuesday night. The Bruins game was rescheduled for April 28. The Celtics game was canceled outright, and the NBA's regular season ended on Wednesday.

The Celtics are scheduled to begin the first round of the playoffs Saturday in New York against the Knicks.

The Bruins resumed play on Wednesday night at home against the Buffalo Sabres. Before the game, there was a moment of silence, a slideshow of marathon scenes on the video scoreboard above center ice and a stirring rendition of the national anthem, which was started by long-time Bruins vocalist Rene Rancourt. He sang a few lines then gestured for the fans to join in -- which they did.

"We are trying to put on a show for the fans and, hopefully, give them some sort of escape," Buffalo's Drew Stafford said after the game. "With everything that happened, emotions were extremely high tonight. I am sure that there were not a lot of dry eyes in the stands during the anthem."

After the game, players gathered at center ice and raised their sticks in a salute to the fans who had chanted "U.S.A." and "We are Boston."

The Red Sox had finished their game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday about 45 minutes before the explosions occurred about a mile away from Fenway. They boarded a plane to Cleveland after their 3-2 victory, heading for a three-game series against the Indians. Boston completed a sweep of that series on Thursday night then returned for a 10-game homestand.


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