It was all smiles for Nathan Horton—as usual—and the Boston Bruins, as the B’s traveled into Tampa Bay and beat the lightning 4-2. The win was their second in a row.
The Bruins got off to a fast start with two goals in the first 3:50. Horton kicked things off for the Bruins by collecting a loose rebound and beating Lightning goalie Anders Lindback just 1:11 into the opening frame.
Then in the third with the Bruins holding a 3-2 lead and coming off a huge penalty kill, Horton struck again by tipping in a Zdeno Chara shot from the point extending the Bruins lead to two for the second time in the game.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien kept Horton out there the entire time Lindback was pulled in hopes Horton would complete the hat trick, but all Horton could do was ring iron twice and just miss out on the hat trick.
Horton didn’t care about the hat trick, he was just happy his club took the two points in this one.
“It really doesn’t matter, we won the game so everyone’s happy and that’s what matters most” said Horton.
Horton’s two goals last night now give him six on the season which is good enough for second on the team, three goals behind Brad Marchand’s team-leading nine goals.
Coming off his second concussion in as many seasons, Horton was one of the biggest question marks coming into the season for the Bruins, but Julien has been nothing short of satisfied with his powerful winger.
“But when guys like Horts [Nathan Horton] start scoring, it makes our team much better. He was good. That’s what you want to see from him. That powerful winger who really wants to play. He’s one of the elite right wingers in the league when he’s at the top of his game” said Julien.
Horton had a game-high six shots on goal, and saw 18:09 of ice time.
Horton has been great for the Bruins since being traded out of Florida, but Horton is set to be a restricted free agent after this season leaving the Bruins with some big decisions to make.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli has shown over the past two years that he likes to keep the core group of this team intact and doing so with Horton could cost the Bruins some big money if Horton keeps lighting the lamp and playing his style of hockey.
“He’s got so much potential and we know it” said Julien.
“He’s gone through some tough times with the concussion, but hopefully we have him back healthy with some consistency in his game. He deserves it.”