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Nathan Horton’s Gordie Howe hat trick leads Bruins past Capitals

Nathan Horton [1] had a three-point night and a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Bruins beat the Capitals, 4-1 at TD Garden Saturday afternoon.

Horton got the B’s on the board in the first period with his eighth goal of the season before picking up assists on goals from David Krejci [2] and Andrew Ference [3]. He dropped the gloves with Matt Hendricks late in the second-period in a frantic bout to cap the Gordie Howe hat trick, his first since the 2011 playoffs.

The Bruins also got a power play goal from Rich Peverley [4], with Horton, Krejci and Milan Lucic [5] all having three-point performances.

Anton Khudobin picked up the win for the B’s, allowing only a flukey goal in which the B’s scored on themselves (see below). Here’s what went right and wrong for the Bruins in the win:


– Horton’s scoring slump ended after eight games, and the duo of he and Milan Lucic [5] (two assists) really picked it up Saturday. Both played a more aggressive and physical game, and it yielded rewards for Boston’s top line. Lucic fed both Horton and Krejci from behind the net on their goals, and though his goal-less stretch has now reached 11 games, it was a much better showing for the 24-year-old winger than in games past. While Lucic hasn’t scored over the last 11 games, he does have eight assists in that span. His three assists Saturday made for a career-high.

– Ference’s goal was his first of the season, and it capped a pretty play for Boston. Krejci brought the puck into the zone, and fed Horton, who sent a behind-the-back pass to Ference. The 33-year-old blueliner fired a wrist shot past Neuvirth to make it 3-0.

With Ference’s goal, Dennis Seidenberg [6] and Aaron Johnson are the only Bruins defensemen without goals this season.

Brad Marchand [7] got in his first fight of the year, dropping the gloves with Mike Ribeiro in the second period. Marchand held his own against Ribeiro, who has about three inches on the 5-foot-11ish winger.

– Some hard work in front paid off on Peverley’s goal following a shot from Lucic, with Peverley finally jamming it past Neuvirth after multiple bids. The goal came just nine seconds into the power play in the third period.


– Krejci actually had a pair of goals, if you count the one he put past Khudobin. After the expiration of his penalty early in the second period, Krejci got the puck in front and tried to pass it across in front of the Bruins’ goal. That’s never a good idea, and the B’s found out why when the puck went off Johnny Boychuk’s skate and into the net.

– The Bruins suffered an injury scare involving Johnny Boychuk in the first period, but fortunately it proved to be nothing big. Boychuk was very slow to get off the ice following a collision with Captials forward Aaron Volpatti. He did not put any pressure on his left leg as he got off the ice and was helped down the tunnel. Fortunately for the Bruins, he was back on the ice minutes later.

– Not really something that went wrong, but Hendricks got under quite a few Bruins’ skin, as he fought both Horton and Adam McQuaid. Neither fight was of the passive variety, as McQuaid too went into maniac mode in their third-period fight. Shawn Thornton [8] also had words with Hendricks.