PHILADELPHIA – Nathan Horton probably should be on top of the world after scoring goals in each of the last two games for the Bruins, but instead he’s prospering while the B’s are losing hockey games.
Horton snapped home the rebound of a Dennis Seidenberg point shot in the third period to get the Bruins on the scoreboard for his 10th goal of the season, but that turned out to be Boston’s only marker in the 3-1 loss to a struggling Flyers club at the Wells Fargo Center.
It was the exact kind of goal the Bruins are going to have to score right now because it doesn’t seem like much else is going in for them. Outside of Boston’s five goal outburst against the Canadiens on Wednesday night, the Bruins have managed just nine goals in their last six games and scored one goal or less in half of those tilts.
So they need to grind away and battle around the net if they’re going to score, and that means hard work for every little morsel of offense. Horton was in the mix in front of the net for the Bruins using his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame, and that means good things for Boston when he’s mixing it up physically.
“There was already somebody in front [in Lucic] that created the screen, but he jumped on that loose puck,” said Claude Julien. “We need more of that. Right now we’re very average in all areas and not playing Bruins hockey right now. We can go in spurts and out-shoot teams all night long, but it doesn’t mean much.”
While Horton was one of the better Bruins forwards in the joyless defeat, the right winger also missed on a rebound chance in the closing seconds of the second period with a wide open staring him in the face. This time it was Andrew Ference with a shot from the left side that Horton collected by the left post, but he tried to deliberately and casually slide the puck into the net. The slow-developing offensive chance allowed Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to jump back into the play and get a piece of the shot.
If Horton had gone 2-for-2 on open net rebound chances in the game then the Bruins could have possibly pushed overtime, and at least salvaged a point from a lollygagging effort against a Philadelphia team playing out the string.
The game wasn’t meant to be a win, but Horton was still hoping to build on the positives from the last couple of games.
“We knew we could get one and then we did. We knew we could score, but we just couldn’t get that next one,” said Horton. “We just need to bear down when we get the chances. We need to get as many pucks to the net as we can because we know a lot of goals come off the rebounds.
“Obviously the goals haven’t come easy for us this year, but that’s hockey. You need to keep working hard and try to get the next one. Once in a while you see a really nice play, but most of them come off rebounds and pucks around the net.”
While some might have thought Horton had a little extra in the tank returning to Philadelphia for the first time since the Tom Sestito blindside hit that ended his season last year, the right wing said that wasn’t the case. He’s simply trying to help the Bruins right the ship along with everybody else, and it looks like everybody still has some work to do before things are back to normal for the Black and Gold.