Nathan Horton’s goal, assist, and fight led the Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Capitals Saturday at TD Garden. Horton capped his Gordie Howe hat trick with a second-period fight with Matt Hendricks.
In the third, both Shawn Thornton and Adam McQuaid challenged Hendricks. Hendricks chose McQuaid, who dispatched him with several solid rights.
The Capitals, down, 2-0, after 20 minutes, got on the board early in the second after the Bruins scored an own goal. David Krejci had finished serving an interference call and tried to clear the puck from in front of the Boston net. But his clearing attempt glanced off Johnny Boychuk’s left skate and caromed into the net at 1:24.
The Bruins regained their two-goal lead at 8:02 of the second during four-on-four play. Krejci swung into the offensive zone and dished to Horton. The right wing then dropped a pass for Andrew Ference. The defenseman went upstairs on Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth for his first goal of the season.
Tempers flared twice in the second. Brad Marchand and Mike Ribeiro went toe-to-toe in a lightweight bout at 19:$1. Eight seconds later, Horton and Hendricks dropped the mitts. They had been tangling for most of the game.
The Bruins’ power line scored the first two goals of the first period. On the first, Horton flipped a cross-corner dump into the offensive zone for Milan Lucic to chase down.
Troy Brouwer was first to the puck, but Lucic, playing straight-line hockey, was close enough to Brouwer to force the Washington forward to turn the puck over. Lucic retrieved the puck, whirled around the net, and saw Horton ready to pull the trigger in the high slot.
Horton received Lucic’s pass and hammered a one-timer through Neuvirth at 14:12.
Just over three minutes later, the big wingmen struck again. Just before taking a hit from Steve Oleksy, Horton rimmed the puck around the boards into the corner. Jack Hillen was in place to retrieve it, but Lucic steamed forward on the forecheck and caused another turnover.
Lucic found the puck and spotted Krejci cutting toward the crease. Lucic gave the puck to Krejci, who beat Neuvirth at 17:15.