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Boston Bruins and Red Sox postpone Friday games

With Boston focused Friday on apprehending a Boston Marathon bombing suspect, the Bruins-Penguins game is rescheduled for Saturday at TD Garden. The Red Sox are next scheduled to play Kansas City at Fenway Park on Saturday. Separately, Olympic officials offer assurances on security for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

April 20, 2013|By Helene Elliott
  • Fenway Park was empty Friday evening in Boston when the Red Sox postponed a game against the Kansas City Royals because of the ongoing manhunt.
Fenway Park was empty Friday evening in Boston when the Red Sox postponed… (Kayana Szymczak / Getty…)

The Bruins and the Red Sox, Boston-based professional sports teams with home games that had been scheduled for Friday, postponed competition as authorities searched for and apprehended a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Regional rail and bus systems were closed part of the day after Gov. Deval Patrick urged residents of Boston and nearby areas to avoid going out in public. Many fans use mass transit to attend hockey games at TD Garden and watch the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Limited service was restored Friday afternoon.

The city was lightly populated and many businesses closed during the manhunt for suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose older brother Tamerlan had died early Friday after trying to elude authorities.

No makeup date was announced for the opener of the Red Sox's three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. As of late Friday, Saturday's game was set to begin at 10 a.m. PDT. The Bruins' game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was rescheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. PDT.

This was the second postponement in a week for the Bruins, who are vying with Montreal for first place in the NHL's Northeast Division. They had been scheduled to face Ottawa on Monday a few hours after the bombings near the marathon finish line, but the NHL postponed the game until April 28 and extended the season by a day.

The bombing suspects are ethnic Chechens who lived for a time in Dagestan. Chechnya and Dagestan are republics in the Russian Federation that have been centers of separatist militant groups. There had been no indication of a connection between the suspects and the terrorist groups as of Friday night. But the geographic link underscores already heightened security concerns about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, is about 300 miles from Sochi. Dagestan abuts the eastern border of Chechnya. In May 2012, Russian authorities foiled a planned terrorist attack on Sochi and seized weapons and ammunition in the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia, according to news reports. Abkhazia is about 100 miles southeast of Sochi.

U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said security is the highest priority for American athletes no matter the site. "Like past Games, we will work closely with the local organizing committee, our State Department and law enforcement agencies to ensure the proper security plan is in place," he said Friday.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said, "We have no doubt that the Russian authorities will be up to the task."

Dmitry Chernyshenko, chief of the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee, said Wednesday that security was being designed to make the upcoming Winter Games "the safest in history."

helene.elliott@latimes.com

Chicago Tribune reporter Philip Hersh contributed to this report.

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