CHICAGO — Early during Wednesday’s first overtime, Nathan Horton suffered an upper-body injury that knocked the right wing out of Game 1.
The injury was not severe enough to keep Horton sidelined for Friday’s practice at the United Center.
Horton did not take every shift on the first line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. But Horton did not exhibit any shooting or passing limitations. His status remains day-to-day, said coach Claude Julien, and his status for Game 2 is undetermined.
“It’s great,” Krejci said of having Horton participate in practice. “I love that guy. He’s awesome. He’s a great player. He’s a warrior. It was good to see him out there.”
Horton was hurt when he shoved Niklas Hjalmarsson. Horton, doubled over, skated to the bench and never returned. In all likelihood, Horton aggravated the injury he suffered during a fight with Pittsburgh’s Jarome Iginla on April 20. Horton missed the last five regular-season games.
“For him to keep himself off the ice, it has to be something really big,” Krejci said. “I haven’t talked to him about how he felt after practice. But he looked great. I’m pretty sure he’s going to play [Saturday].”
Horton didn’t have a shot in Game 1. In the second period, Marian Hossa picked Horton’s pocket in the Boston zone to set up Brandon Saad for Chicago’s first goal.
But in the first period, Horton made a prompt dish to Lucic, which led to Boston’s first strike. It was the first of two goals for Lucic.
Krejci (23 points), Horton (18), and Lucic (16) are the top three scorers in the playoffs.
“We’re moving the puck well,” Lucic said of his line. “We’re shooting it when we get those opportunities. We’re skating well. We’re doing good things on the forecheck and in the offensive zone. We’ve been able to play pretty sound defensively. All that translates into success for our line.”
The Bruins’ best offensive line would suffer if Horton is unavailable for Game 2. The first line, playing mostly against Johnny Oduya and Hjalmarsson, used its speed, physical play, touch, and chemistry to log its two goals. If Horton plays, the Blackhawks might consider deploying Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook against the power line.
If Horton can’t go, Tyler Seguin would most likely skate in his spot. Seguin assumed most of Horton’s shifts in Game 1 following his overtime exit. Seguin alternated shifts with Horton during Friday’s practice.
Seguin has posted a quiet postseason with one goal and four assists.
Seguin played with better pace in Game 1. He assisted on Patrice Bergeron’s power-play goal in the third period. Seguin led the Bruins with eight shots in 29:18 of ice time. Seguin’s dish in double overtime nearly opened up Kaspars Daugavins for the winner.
If Horton plays, Seguin would return to the third line.
“Krech’s line is pretty hot right now,” Seguin said. “They’ve been hot all playoffs. They definitely have good chemistry. They can find each other to make smart plays. If I step in, I want to try to contribute the best I can. Try to get chemistry right away.”
Soderberg on deck?
If Horton doesn’t play, it’s possible that Carl Soderberg could make his NHL playoff debut in Game 2. During Friday’s practice, when Seguin skated on the first line, Soderberg centered the No. 3 threesome between Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley.
Soderberg hasn’t played since April 28 in the regular-season finale against Ottawa. He has been a healthy scratch during the playoffs.
In six regular-season games, Soderberg recorded zero goals and two assists. Soderberg played both center and wing on the third line.
“I’m definitely ready for this,” Soderberg said. “I’ve been working for a long time. You never know what’s going to happen with Horty. I haven’t talked to Coach yet. We’ll see.”
Bergeron gets honor
Patrice Bergeron did not win the Selke Trophy for a second straight season. Jonathan Toews was named the NHL’s best defensive forward on Friday. However, Bergeron won the King Clancy Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies on- and off-ice leadership and is active in community service. “It’s a huge honor and I’m very happy about it,” the alternate captain said in a statement. “I like to lead by example and work just as hard as I can on and off the ice and help whoever I can.” . . . Torey Krug practiced alongside usual third-pairing partner Adam McQuaid, indicating that he will remain in the Game 2 lineup. Krug committed a Game 1 turnover that led to Dave Bolland’s third-period goal. The Bruins have left-shot options in Matt Bartkowski and Wade Redden . . . The Bruins are aiming to tighten up their play in center ice in Game 2. On occasion, the Blackhawks gained clean entry into the offensive zone. “We started turning too many pucks over in the neutral zone,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “That helped them get a lot of speed coming right at us. Their transition game is really good and strong. We have to do a better job handling the puck.” . . . McQuaid did not win the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Minnesota goalie Josh Harding won the award. Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year.