Gronkowski spikes puck as Bruins honor champion Patriots

BOSTON (AP) Rob Gronkowski puck-tuated a Super Bowl victory with a spike on the ice.

The star tight end and several of his New England Patriots teammates were honored by the Bruins before their game against the New York Islanders on Saturday night in a pregame ceremony in Boston.

After teammate Rob Ninkovich dropped the ceremonial puck between Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and Islanders captain John Tavares, Gronkowski pulled another puck out of his pants pocket and emphatically spiked it - as he does with the football when he scores a touchdown - to the delight of the sellout crowd at TD Garden.

He slammed the puck with such force, it bounced over the protective glass and into the stands as several fans reached up to grab the souvenir.

''Yeah, that was pretty awesome,'' Bruins center Chris Kelly said. ''You could tell the fans were into it. We kind of had a heads up to what he was going to do.''

But Gronkowski wasn't done celebrating. He later spiked a promotional pizza box when he was shown on the Jumbotron after he was selected as fan of the game, a 2-1 victory for the Bruins.

Gronkowski and other Patriots such as defensive end Chandler Jones, offensive lineman Nate Solder and defensive end Zach Moore, who held the Lombardi Trophy, wore Bruins jerseys with their Patriots numbers on them.

They lined up near center ice and the crowd roared, honoring the champions.

''The Patriots had me really pumped up,'' defenseman Torey Krug said.

Bruins coach Claude Julien agreed.

''Guys were excited about seeing the (Patriots) players out there and shaking their hands and everything else,'' Julien said, ''and they came out strong.''

Gronkowski and Ninkovich later posed for a picture with Bruins President Cam Neely and the team posted it on Twitter.

The Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in the Super Bowl last Sunday.

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