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Horton's Gordie Howe Hat Trick Powers B's

Nathan Horton's three-point game helps Bruins to 4-1 win over Caps

Saturday, 03.16.2013 / 6:56 PM ET / Features
By Caryn Switaj  - BostonBruins.com
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Horton\'s Gordie Howe Hat Trick Powers B\'s
On his first shift of Saturday\'s game, Nathan Horton ignited the TD Garden crowd with a heavy hit along the boards on the Capitals\' Eric Fehr. That came just 1:36 in, and from the then on, Horton and his teammates set the tone with their physicality. By the end of the afternoon, Horton would have his first Gordie Howe hat trick, with a goal, two assists, and a bout with Matt Hendricks.

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BOSTON, MA - On his first shift of Saturday's game, Nathan Horton ignited the TD Garden crowd with a heavy hit along the boards on the Capitals' Eric Fehr.

That came just 1:36 in, and from the then on, Horton and his teammates set the tone with their physicality.

By the end of the afternoon, Horton would have a Gordie Howe hat trick, with a goal, two assists, and a bout with Matt Hendricks.

"Obviously, we haven’t scored for a while, but I think our line played a lot better tonight," said Horton from in front of his locker room stall postgame, sporting his signature smile and the B's new "player of the game" t-shirt.

"Like Claude said, when you’re thinking you’re up and you’re making plays, you make more mistakes when you do that. Just get the puck deep. You saw that on every goal. I chipped the puck to Looch's corner."

"I don’t know how he got the puck every time," he added, complementing his linemate's ability to be strong on the puck, leading the B's first two goals to be scored off Lucic's hard forecheck, which set the tone for his line - and the game.

At the 14:12 mark of the first, Andrew Ference chipped the puck up and Horton put it in into the left corner from the right wing boards for his linemate Lucic to go racing in on the forecheck down the left wing. And No. 17 did just that, feeding Horton with a perfect pass up the middle for his first goal in the past eight games.

"Great pass. He got the forecheck, like I said, that chip that I made. Guys are scared of him and they give him the puck. He has great vision, he saw me up in the slot there, through a couple of guys, and a great pass."

Just 3:03 later, the same play gave the B's another two-goal cushion over the Caps (and one that they would eventually keep). Zdeno Chara sent the puck through the neutral zone, and Horton again chipped the puck in for Lucic, who immediately won a quick battle along the boards and fed Krejci in front.

"And on the other goal - David’s goal - it kind of happened that I didn’t get enough on the puck to rim it around, and I looked up and he had it again," said Horton of his left winger, Lucic. "He’s just a great player, and that’s they way we got to play."

"They showed exactly what we need to see from them on a more consistent basis," said Coach Julien following the game. "They were skating the north-south type game, they were forechecking, being physical. Because of that they were turning pucks over, and not only that, they were strong on the puck, and they made their chances count."

An unlucky bounce for the B's saw them with a 2-1 lead early in the second, and just six minutes in, Matt Hendricks and Horton exchanged some words, before Andrew Ference and then Adam McQuaid stepped in. McQuaid and Hendricks went off for roughing, but didn't drop the gloves.

With just over 10 seconds to go in the second, and the B's with a 3-1 lead, after Horton had added another assist to set up Andrew Ference, Hendricks and No. 18 finally went in a quick, but emotional bout.

"It's part of the game," said Horton. "We kept running into each other. I don’t know how that was, but every time I was swinging back around or something we always bumped into each other. It’s just how it happened."

"But when you got a tough team, everybody’s got each other’s back," added Horton, when asked about McQuaid stepping in for him. "I think that was a big game for us in that way and getting everybody going. Obviously, Quaider, it was a good job by him. He’s such a great guy."

"Yeah they were unbelievable tonight," said Shawn Thornton, who had stepped in to drop the gloves with Hendricks during the game, but the two did not end up engaging. "I think everybody on that line was going, you could see it right from the drop of the puck."

"So well deserved the amount of points he [Horton] got tonight, obviously sticking up for himself and doing a good job doing that too."

And Horton hopes that this emotional will help spark he and his linemates moving forward.

"We have a lot of games. When you’re not playing good, you want to be better," said Horton. "You got to really, when you come to the game, you got to turn it on. I think, like I said, we have to play like that every night."

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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