Notes: Horton steps into spotlight

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Notes: Horton steps into spotlight

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Nathan Horton always has a smile on his face, kind words, and a polite thank-you for just about everyone he meets in life.

Theres been a little more of Game Face Horton as things got closer to the playoffs, but that was to expected from a guy who's working on his first NHL Stanley Cup playoff experience. Saturday nights Game 5 was one of the good nights for Horton, as he pounced on a rebound in front of the net and scored a greasy goal to power the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 double overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

I saw the rebound, we had control of the puck, and I saw the rebound come out. It was. It was like its in slow motion, said Horton. It was just sitting there. Ill tell you, it felt good to put that in the net. Obviously winning the game, it was a pretty special moment.

The play was unique, as both Andrew Ference and Milan Lucic were running something similar to a pick-and-roll near the blue line to keep possession of the puck in the Habs' zone. Ference finally fired a shot from the point though traffic and a David Krejci screen. Carey Price was able to get a pad on the puck, but he kicked the rebound right to Horton crashing in from the right side. Horton tapped it into the open side of the net.

The first line was better and that was a good sign," said coach Claude Julien. "Scoring that OT goal will hopefully give that line a real good boost. And we all know how when you start thinking positively, things start to be a lot easier. And I think they were carrying some weight from not producing and being one of the lines wanting to produce.

"But . . . now Horton knows what if feels like to score a game-winning, overtime goal in the playoffs and he was a pretty happy man in the dressing room.

Lucic picked up an assist on Hortons goal for his first point of the postseason, and also led the Bruins with a team-high eight shots on net. Lucic had previously only attempted five shots total in the first four games of the playoffs.

Lucic got a couple of excellent chances in close to the net.

"Well, I mean we were chipping away all game long, it seemed like," said Lucic. "And I dont know what it is . . . whenever I get a scoring chance it seems like its not going in. But . . . we didnt get frustrated and it was almost like when we had the opportunity in overtime we wanted to do whatever we could to step up and contribute to this team."

Boxer Micky Ward of Lowell, the subject of the movie "The Fighter," was in the crowd for Game 5 at TD Garden, along with former New England Revolution player Taylor Twellman.

The Bruins and Canadiens played their first scoreless first period of the series, Boston also came up with the first home victory of the series.

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

Morning Skate: Flames land Hamonic in trade with Islanders

Morning Skate: Flames land Hamonic in trade with Islanders

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while touching back down from the Windy City of Chicago.

 

*The Calgary Flames step away as one of the big winners in the NHL Draft weekend after securing defenseman Travis Hamonic on Day 2 of the festivities.

 

*Here’s a good piece on a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, and the lengths that hockey families will go to better their career chances.

 

*Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion sure sounds like a guy that’s working to try and deal Dion Phaneuf away from the Sens, doesn’t he?

 

*Cool story about the second round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, and a family background that is just going to become more and more commonplace as time goes by. Congrats to the family on what must have been a great weekend in Chicago.

 

*The Flyers are loading up on draft picks and trading some veterans, but don’t dare call it a rebuild in Philadelphia.

 

*Speaking of picks from Saturday’s second day of the draft, the Blue Jackets actually drafted a kid from the same hometown in the French Alps, Grenoble, as Andre the Giant. That is pretty damn noteworthy.  

 

*For something completely different: I’d always wondered about the backstory with the father in the Toy Story movies, and this is certainly a major bummer of a background story.

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

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Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."