Though a decision on whether he will be in the lineup Saturday night remains up in the air, the good news for the Boston Bruins is that high-scoring forward Nathan Horton participated in practice Friday.
Horton, who has 18 points in 17 playoff games, left Game 1 on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury in the final minutes of the first of three overtime periods.
”Having Nathan on the ice — it’s a positive thing that he was able to come out and skate here today,” said Bruins forward Milan Lucic, whose first of two goals Wednesday was assisted by Horton. “He’s going to do everything in his power to play and obviously he wants to play and hopefully he can.”
Boston coach Claude Julien was also encouraged that Horton skated, but still listed him as day-to-day.
”We’ll have to make a decision on him tomorrow,” Julien said.”If he feels good tomorrow, he’s in the lineup, simple as that”. And if he’s in the lineup, he’s going to see a lot of action — simple as that.
“Absolutely,” Julien said. “If he’s in tomorrow, it’s about him playing. If he can’t play, I just can’t use him once in a while — might as well put somebody in that can play the minutes.
“I’ll be very straightforward with you guys on that. If he’s in, he’s going to be in his position where he plays.”
In the Western Conference finals, the Los Angeles Kings went through a similar scenario when their top scorer, Mike Richards, was injured late in the series opener and didn’t return until Game 5.
“You just have to look at the teams that have been eliminated,” Julien said. “As soon as they’re eliminated, you hear all about the injuries. It’s a very common thing in our sport, especially at this time of year.
“When you look at the Stanley Cup, what it means to you, there’s no doubt, you don’t want to be denied that opportunity. Players are tough in this sport. They’ll play through a lot.
“There’s some on both teams right now. You’ll find out more when the series is over.”
Center Tyler Seguin took over some of Horton’s shifts late in Game 1.
“They’re both great players in their own way and I think Nathan is more of physical player but Segs is a guy that uses speed to his advantage,” Lucic said. “They are special in their own ways.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.