Horton pots first goal in over a year

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Horton pots first goal in over a year

NEW YORK Nathan Horton completed another step on the way to proving that hes right back to where he once was as a highly regarded power forward that tied everything together for the Bruins.
He passed the first test after experiencing no linger concussion issues over the summer into the four month lockout, and passed a big test when he made it through training camp looking healthy, strong and viable and carried all of that goodness into the regular season.
But the true sign Horton is 100 percent back is when the timely, clutch goals start falling for the 6-foot-2, 229-pound playoff hero.
That happened in the third period of Wednesday nights exciting 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden when Horton rifled home the game-tying goal with less than five minutes to go in regulation. It was the first goal for the 27-year-old winger in over a year dating back to a Jan. 19 road win over the New Jersey Devils that came three days before the fateful game against the Philadelphia Flyers that ended his season.
So to see the red lamp signal that he had scored an NHL goal was a welcomed sight indeed.
It was definitely nice. Not that I was thinking too much about it, but anybody would say that its nice getting it out of the way, said Horton. You just keep working at it. I think tonight our line played well in their end with the cycles and crashing the net. They dont give up a lot of room.
It was sweet hockey justice for Horton, who had been robbed of at least a couple of sure goals in Mondays win over the Winnipeg Jets. For his teammates it was another reminder of how much better Horton makes them as a deep forward group with each player in their proper spot and how strongly hes returned over the last 367 days since Tom Sestito ended his season with a blindside hit to the head.
To know that he had been out since last January and to see the way that hes played the last three games, its great, said Milan Lucic. Being his linemate, its great having him back and its a lot of fun playing with him.
Hortons ice time has gone up in each of his first three games and has seven shots on goal thus far on the season, and now has a mark on the stat sheet. He was even smiling after the game knowing that his team had done an admirable job coming back from an early 2-0 deficit to the Rangers in their building.
It would appear that Horton is completely back to form, and is leaving all of the concussion talk behind as the headaches and fuzziness is now far back in the rear-view mirror.

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.