Andrew Ference was raised in Alberta, Canada. But when he was traded to the Bruins from the Calgary Flames in 2007, Ference immersed himself in Boston life like few professional athletes do when shipped in from out of town.

Ference and wife Krista made a conscious effort to live the experience to the fullest, moving into the North End and, with their two young daughters, enjoying everything that the city has to offer.

So it should come as no surprise that while Ference decided to relax at home prior to Monday night’s scheduled game at the Garden against the Ottawa Senators, his wife and young daughters did what Bostonians do on Patriots Day — they went to watch the marathon.

Luckily, Ference’s wife and daughters never made it quite as far down Boylston Street as planned. They were headed to Boston-based Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke’s fundraiser for the organization You Can Play at the restaurant Town on Boylston Street, but stopped first to visit friends and then the playground on Boston Common.

“They were on their way down Boylston when my wife heard the explosion,” Ference said yesterday at Bruins practice at Ristuccia Arena.

Ference did not have the TV on, so the first he heard of bombs going off was when his wife called. That may have spared him some anguished moments trying to locate his family, but his girls were pretty shaken up as they headed back home. One friend that the Ferences tried to reach out to, an Army Ranger, had just finished the race when the bombs went off, and he immediately jumped in to help some of the wounded.

“It was obviously disturbing for him,” said Ference, who added that a couple of other friends were also near the explosions. “The last time he was deployed one of his friends got hit, so it brought back some bad memories.”

The Ferences, like many young parents, did their best in explaining the unexplainable to their children Monday night.

“The younger one’s easy, she’s only 4 years old, though she was scared at the time,” Ference said. “But the older one is tougher. I don’t know. You can’t really explain too much. But like my buddy who was helping out, you can show her, ‘Here are the good people.’ You could see a lot of heroes and a lot of good people helping out, obviously. It’s tough.

“What do you say to kids, really?”