A little more than a period into it, Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals was shaping up to be a memorable one for Nathan Horton. For all the wrong reasons.
The Bruins forward committed a pair of interference penalties, one at 19:09 of the first period and again at 2:09 of the second, and the Bruins’ first line was again struggling after not scoring a point in the Game 4 loss at Tampa Bay.
But redemption can come quickly in the postseason, and in Horton’s case it came in the time it took for him to collect a Milan Lucic pass in the slot and rifle it past Lightning goalie Mike Smith to tie the game at 1-1 at the 4:24 mark.
“It was a little bit frustrating up until that point because they scored first and I had a couple of penalties,” said Horton, who has seven goals this postseason. “But all you can do is keep working, keep playing hard, and hopefully things begin to go your way. We have a lot of belief that hard work in each other and that hard work will pay off, and I felt like that’s not only what happened on my goal, but overall in the game tonight.
“I want to win just as much as the next guy on the team. You keep trying, keep working hard, and hopefully one of those goes in and your forget about everything that happened before it.”
Lucic said his linemate’s goal provided an obvious boost.
“It lifted everyone up,” Lucic said. “It lifted the fans up, it was an exciting feeling on the bench again. And after Horty was in the box there for four straight minutes, he comes out with a big shift.”
Lucic credited the Bruins’ penalty killing units for changing the momentum in between Horton’s penalties and his goal.
“Your penalty killers, especially like they did tonight, they step up and do the job that they did, that’s obviously big and shouldn’t be overlooked in tonight’s win. And when you reward the penalty killers with answering back and getting yourself back in the game with a goal like that, you start feeling pretty good about yourselves. And you start feeling like you have a chance to win and you want to keep moving forward.”