Horton knows he needs to be better

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Horton knows he needs to be better

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

RALEIGH It was an optional skate for the Bruins at the RBC Center, and the Bruins head into Wednesday nights game happy to be out on the road ready to take a few days away from the Cup frenzy still taking place in Boston.

Expect Tim Thomas to start between the pipes with both goaltenders out on the ice facing shots during the morning skate. Tyler Seguin will get the first crack at replacing David Krejci (core injury) temporarily as the No. 1 center between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.

Horton has only a single shot and no registered hits in three games thus far this season, and doesnt think its quite fair to label him off to a bad start this season. The winger has always been streaky and knows he needs to be better. To that end, both Horton and Milan Lucic were among the first players to get to work in Carolinas barn on Wednesday morning, and the top line right winger was working diligently on his sticks prior to the skate.

I feel like Im getting in good spots, but Im not shooting enough or quick enough to shoot. I need to be aware of shooting the puck and getting it toward the net, said a smiling Horton. I havent had any setbacks. I feel good. I definitely know I have to be better and I will be better . . . so thats it.

Its only been three games, so I think it would need to be a few more games before Id call it a slow start. Im looking to end all that sooner rather than later.

Itll be interesting to watch what kind of an effect No. 19 will have with the two big bookend wingers given that Seguin has looked like hes playing at a different speed through the early portion of the season.

Here are the expected lines tonight vs. the Hurricanes with the new-look top line:

Lucic-Seguin-Horton
Marchand-Bergeron-Peverley
Pouliot-Kelly-Caron
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Ference-Corvo
Seidenberg-McQuaid

Thomas
Rask

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins rebound from 3-0 deficit but wind up losing to Caps in overtime

Bruins rebound from 3-0 deficit but wind up losing to Caps in overtime

WASHINGTON -- The Capitals didn't exactly end their overtime victory with a raucous celebration.

No, instead Washington held a players-only meeting, still salty over blowing a three-goal lead.

Nicklas Backstrom scored 1:36 into overtime, helping the Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 to avert a disastrous defeat Wednesday night.

Justin Williams scored twice and Daniel Winnik also had a goal to put Washington ahead 3-0 about six minutes into the second period.

After Winnik's tally, Washington went over 26 minutes without a shot on goal. Boston dominated the final five minutes of the second period, when Dominic Moore and David Pastrnak beat goaltender Braden Holtby. Colin Miller's power-play score 8:19 into third tied it at 3-3.

Backstrom saved the day, but not the Capitals from feeling uneasy.

"In the second and third period they outplayed," Backstrom said. "We were lucky that we came up with two points. We're not satisfied at all. We're happy with the two points, but not the way we played."

The locker room remained closed for approximately 15 minutes after the win, Washington's second in a row after losing three straight.

"We had a little talking here," said T.J. Oshie, who returned to the lineup for the first time since injuring his shoulder on Nov. 18. "There are some things we've got to clean up. I think it's more of a mentality more than it is the systems or anything like that. ... Once we get a step up on someone, we have to get that mentality that we're going to finish them off."

Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin got his first point since Nov. 26.

Boston arrived in Washington 4-0-1 over its last five games with three wins in a row, including a 4-3 overtime triumph against Florida on Monday night. The Bruins outshot Washington 34-20.

"Hell of an effort. We got a big point for us. To comeback from 3-0 against Washington, it's not that easy," Pastrnak said. "Too bad we couldn't get the two points, but in this case the one point is huge for us."

Backstrom patiently waited on the right side before firing the winner past goaltender Tuukka Rask, who entered second in the league with a 1.68 goals-against average. Rask allowed three goals in his previous outing, too.

Williams had two goals over the first 24 games this season, but he matched that total less than eight minutes in against the Bruins. He redirected Kuznetsov's lofted centering pass past Rask for a 1-0 lead just 23 seconds into the first period.

"To be honest it's nice to see the puck go in the net," Williams said. "I've been pressing and working hard. Hopefully this can springboard me to some more production."

Matt Niskanen left with an upper-body injury and did not return. With the Caps down a defenseman, Boston outshot Washington 11-2 in the second period.

"In the second period, we just sort of sat back," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "It's hard to protect leads in the league."

The Capitals' second goal also occurred in front of the net. Williams emerged from a scramble with a shot that slithered under Rask.

NOTES: With his 673rd career win, Trotz passed Mike Keenan (672) for eighth place on the NHL's career wins list. ... Williams' first goal was the fastest for Washington since 2012. ... Boston assigned F Noel Acciari to the Providence Bruins two days after the 24-year forward returned to practice. Acciari injured his right leg on Nov. 7. ... Holtby improved to 10-2 career against the Bruins. His first career win came in relief against Boston in November 2010. ... The three-game season series resumes Feb. 1 in Washington.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Colorado on Thursday night.

Capitals: Play at Buffalo on Friday night.