Nathan Horton Leaving No Doubt He’s Back, Operating Like ‘Machine’ for Bruins

Boston BruinsBOSTON — Nathan Horton got ready to speak to a mass of reporters Tuesday night after the Bruins knocked off the New Jersey Devils in a shootout.

Horton, who rescued the team with a third-period goal, got ready to field questions from a pack of media, when the first question came from an unlikely source.

“Why is it so easy to score goals?” B’s captain Zdeno Chara asked.

That’s a good question for Horton as of late, as the Bruins’ forward extended his point streak to four games, with three goals and four assists over that stretch. Boston remains undefeated in regulation, and Horton has played a major role in that.

The big forward is finally healthy again after battling a concussion last season. He’s wasting no time reacquainting himself, already scoring some clutch goals, which is all he’s done while healthy during his time in Boston.

“It feels great to contribute and help the team, whether it’s anything, a hit,” Horton said. “I’m just trying to work hard and do the best I can and not let my teammates down.”

He certainly isn’t letting anyone down, that’s for sure. Horton has returned and not only found his scoring touch, but he’s also contributing in other ways. He’s found the mean streak that makes him a dynamic player, and he’s not afraid to use his size and strength to win puck battles in the corners.

“He’s battling. He’s physically involved,” said head coach Claude Julien. “Right now, I think you’re seeing him at his best. He’s a machine. Doesn’t seem like he’s skipped a beat, he’s right back in great form and we’re feeding off him, no doubt.”

Horton and his linemates, Milan Lucic and David Krejci, look like they haven’t missed a beat. There was skepticism heading into the season about how long it would take for them to get going. After all, Lucic opted not to play in the lockout, and neither did Horton as he took all necessary steps to come back healthy.

Yet there’s no arguing that the first line has been the best line, and they proved that once again Tuesday night, with Horton stealing the show.

“Being one of our top lines, you want those guys — you want to be able to rely on those guys,” Julien said. “We have and they’ve certainly given us exactly what we need right now.”

Horton’s successful return has given the team an obvious jolt. It sparked them on Tuesday night, but having Horton back and contributing only goes to improve an already strong dressing room. His teammates rave about him, and he’s one of the most popular players in the Boston room.

“That’s just how the guy is,” Tyler Seguin said of Horton. “He’s always smiling, and obviously with what he’s been through and how he’s responded. Even since the first day we all saw him and how big he was and how committed he is to this locker room, it really shows his leadership qualities and his passion and love for the game, so obviously seeing him do well, it’s awesome.”

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