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Ex-Ranger Brian Boyle and wife welcome a playoff baby

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NOV. 26, 2014, FILE PHOTOChris O’Meara/AP

Lightning center Brian Boyle returns to Tampa following Game 2 in New York in time to be with his wife for the birth of the couple’s first child.

TAMPA – For once, the emotions of playoff hockey are playing second fiddle for Brian Boyle.

The former Ranger beamed at his locker in the Tampa Bay dressing room Wednesday morning as he fielded questions from reporters, not about Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, but rather the birth of his first child, 9-pound, 5-ounce Declan Gabriel Boyle.

“When we first heard him, I was pretty emotional. And when I first saw him, I was petrified, I guess, that I was in charge of this human now,” Boyle said of his newborn son. “It was just joy holding him and being around him. When he sneezed it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen…I’ve never been so scared and happy at the same time.”

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Boyle, 30, flew back to Florida after Monday night’s Game 2 and arrived near 2 a.m. in time to be with his wife, Lauren, for the birth. He wore his hospital bracelet underneath his wrist band with pride hours before Game 3. Boyle was engaged to be married during the Rangers run to the Stanley Cup Final last season and thanked his wife for her patience.

“She’s a trooper,” Boyle said. “She handled planning a wedding through the playoffs last year, she handled a third trimester through the playoffs and having a baby this year. She’s a really special person. I’m really lucky.”

As one of 13 kids, Boyle comes from a large family, but says has no intention of matching his parents’ vigor. He was so overcome with emotion at the first sight of Declan that he forgot to make one very important phone call.

“My mom was mad,” he said smiling. “I texted her. She made a lot of phone calls and stuff and she texted me last night pretty angry that I hadn’t called or Facetimed her. I felt really bad about that, but she had my ear for about an hour last night so I couldn’t go to sleep quite when I wanted to.”

Though he said his focus was now back on hockey, Boyle admittedly was relieved to have a healthy Lauren and baby Declan to come home to.

“That’s a pretty strong Catholic name I’d say: Declan Gabriel,” Boyle said. “He’s beautiful and we’re very, very luck and proud.”

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