Nathan Horton’s first-period fight with Jarome Iginla was brief. The fighters threw several punches before they fell to the ice, but that was enough to sideline Horton for the rest of the game with an undisclosed injury.
Replays showed Horton favoring his left wrist as he skated off the ice. Horton, who had grabbed Iginla’s jersey with his left hand, might have suffered the injury when they fell. After the Bruins’ 3-2 loss, coach Claude Julien said he didn’t have any information on Horton’s status.
The fight started at 17:56 after Horton checked Iginla in front of the Pittsburgh bench. Iginla appeared to jab Horton in the back to initiate the fight. Horton turned, shed his mitts, and removed his helmet. Iginla, who wears a visor, also took off his helmet.
Horton had started the game alongside Daniel Paille and David Krejci. Horton skated eight shifts for 5:18 of ice time. After Horton’s departure, Rich Peverley took some shifts on Krejci’s right wing.
Horton, who has 13 goals and nine assists, hasn’t missed a game this season.
If Horton is unavailable for Sunday’s game against Florida, Milan Lucic could return to the lineup. On Saturday, Lucic was a healthy scratch for only the second time as an NHLer. Lucic’s other healthy scratch took place during his rookie season in 2007-08.
The move was expected. During Thursday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, Lucic skated on a spare line with Kaspars Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo. All three were among the scratches against Pittsburgh.
One reason why Lucic was benched was the Bruins’ desire to give Carl Soderberg some action. The Swedish forward, who arrived in Boston on Tuesday, made his NHL debut against the Penguins.
Soderberg, wearing No. 34, was the left wing on the third line with Chris Kelly and Jaromir Jagr. Soderberg saw 16:10 of action, including 1:59 on the power play, where he served as the right-side goal-line man. Soderberg’s only appearance on the scoresheet was a first-period hooking penalty.
“It’s high speed, of course,” Soderberg said of NHL. “It’s better play than Sweden. It’s been tough on me. I haven’t played in a long time. Hopefully it will get better and better.”
Soderberg will have five regular-season games in which to adjust to the NHL’s smaller rinks, physical play, and speed. Soderberg is eligible for the playoffs.
“I thought he handled himself pretty well for his first game,” said Julien. “The one thing is that he’s a smart player. He’s going to figure it out pretty quickly.”
McQuaid roughed up
Adam McQuaid appeared to hurt his left knee during a second-period collision with Matt Cooke. On the play, Cooke threw a hip check on McQuaid, causing the defenseman’s left leg to buckle. McQuaid crawled to the bench, then limped to the dressing room with help from his teammates.
Zdeno Chara confronted Cooke along the boards after the play. Chara was called for roughing.
“It’s pretty obvious that it’s a cheap shot from Cooke,” Julien said. “Typical same guy. He’s got to go low and get a guy right around the knee area, then turns his back.”
McQuaid returned to the bench several minutes later and completed the game.
Saturday marked the first of three rescheduled games, and started a span of six games in nine days.
On Thursday, the Bruins will host Tampa Bay. The teams were originally scheduled to play on Feb. 9, but the game was postponed because of the blizzard.
The Bruins will close out the regular season at the Garden next Sunday against Ottawa, which had been scheduled for Patriots Day, but postponed because of the bombings.
“We’re going to have to maneuver through that very carefully,” Julien said. “It’s a balance of hopefully being able to win games and, at the same time, rest some guys.”
The Bruins’ annual Shirts Off Their Backs event will take place Sunday after the Panthers game. However, according to the Bruins, at the request of season ticket-holders, the autographed jerseys will instead be given to first responders. The Bruins rescheduled their Fan Appreciation Day for next Sunday against the Senators, during which they will give away their team awards.
Before Saturday’s game, players and staff from both teams wore Boston Strong T-shirts. They are available at the Garden pro shop and at www.bostonproshop.com. Each T-shirt is $26, with all proceeds going to the One Fund Boston.
Iginla hears it
The Bruins played against Iginla for the first time since the ex-Calgary captain was traded to Pittsburgh. Bruins fans booed Iginla when he touched the puck. “I expected that,” Iginla said. “It’s not too bad when it’s on the road. On the road, you can live with that.” . . . Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch for the third time in four games. Assuming all defensemen are healthy for the start of the playoffs, Hamilton, McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, and Wade Redden are in the mix for bottom-pair time.