Nathan Horton has struggled since the beginning of February. He had scored just once entering tonight. But it looks like he is emerging from his slumber. Horton scored twice and nearly had a hat trick as the Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2.
Horton got the Bruins off to a quick start with his first goal of the game just 1:11 into the first period. Anders Lindback left a juicy rebound in the left faceoff circle where Horton was wide open and deposited it into the net.
The Bruins extended their lead to 2-0 just a few minutes. Brad Marchand beat two Lightning skaters to the puck behind the net before feeding Parice Bergeron in the right faceoff circle. Bergeron's shot snuck between Lindback and the right post.
But the Lightning wouldn't go away without a fight. Steven Stamkos beat Tuukka Rask after a scramble in front of the net sent the puck to the high slot. Cory Conacher tied the game in the second period after he was left all alone coming down the left side.
Marchand would give the Bruins the lead back before the second was over. Tyler Seguin has his shot blocked but the puck found its way to Marchand in the slot and he didn't miss. Horton finished the scoring with a tip in off a Zdeno Chara shot.
The Bruins continue to have some struggles in their own end. Conacher's goal was a result of that as no one picked him up coming up ice. He was wide open to shoot. While Tuukka Rask probably should have stopped that shot, Conacher shouldn't have had that much space.
Dougie Hamilton continues to see his ice time dwindle. He played just 10 minutes tonight. While tonight's ice time may have been a result of going up against the Lightning's high-powered offense, but it is curious to see how Claude Julien is using the rookie. He was on ice for both Lightning goals but also picked up two assists.
The Bruins were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill tonight. While other areas may struggle, the Bruins penalty kill continues to excel and be one of the best in the league.
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