Just a minute and 11 seconds into the first period, Horton scored and gave the Bruins a lead to play with, something that has been rare for them lately. By the way, he was one of the seven players to miss a recent practice with flu-like symptoms, but all of those absent players were back in the lineup and looking just fine.
About two minutes later, another of the sick seven, Patrice Bergeron, increased Boston's lead to two. The Bruins needed to kill a penalty, Dougie Hamilton's first as an NHL player, not long after Bergeron's lead-increasing goal. But the league's top-rated penalty kill went to work and did what they do best.
On the whole, the Bruins kill almost 95 percent of the penalties they incur. Considering that all three of the penalties called in this game came against them, their penalty-killing prowess was definitely put to work--especially when they had to start the third period on the kill.
The Bruins did, however, eventually lose that two-goal lead piece by piece. First, Steven Stamkos scored his 11th goal of the season in the first period. Then in the second period, Cory Conacher tied it up with a Stamkos assist.
But then Brad Marchand, leading the team in goals, added to his lead with his ninth goal of the season. Boston was able to hold the lead this time and even add onto it thanks to Horton's second goal of the night at the start of the third period.
However, Horton's attempts to get an empty-net goal and complete the hat trick were unsuccessful. He was still named the first star of the game and later credited that good start for giving the team momentum.
Now the Bruins continue their Florida road trip with a visit to the Florida Panthers on Feb. 24 for a 3 p.m. matinee game.