BOSTON -- Injured Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton appeared on the scoreboard at TD Garden during the first period of Monday's 5-2 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
With the Bruins already boasting an early two-goal lead, Horton flashed a big smile and waved a yellow Bruins rally towel as the crowd erupted. His teammates joined in by knocking their sticks against the boards, the traditional sign of applause by hockey players. One sign in the crowd read, "Win it for Horton." Another: "Boston Runs on Horton."
Horton suffered a severe concussion in the first period of Boston's Game 3 win last week at the Garden. Vancouver's Aaron Rome, who delivered the late hit, was suspended by the league for the final four games of the series.
“[Horton has[ been around a couple times, but it’s good to see him here,” said forward Michael Ryder. “He’s excited and he’s a big part of this team. We want to [win the Stanley Cup] for him. And it’s just good to see him, that he’s doing OK and he’s doing a lot better.”
Added David Krejci: “[Horton] got a little emotional. I saw him, he was a little touched. It was good to see. We did it for him and we have to do it again [in Wednesday's Game 7].”
The first-line right wing was second on the team with 26 regular-season goals. He later scored the goals that clinched two seven-game series this postseason -- in the first round against the Montreal Canadiens and in the third against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“We miss him a lot,” said Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. “For him to come to the games and show support just tells you what a great teammate and a friend he is. Obviously, we like what we see and that he’s getting better and better.”
Players on the Bruins bench couldn’t help but take notice when the crowd erupted during a TV timeout early in the first period.
“We didn’t know that they were going to be doing that and showing him up there,” said Bruins forward Brad Marchand. “For him to come in and give us that boost of energy is unbelievable. Obviously, the crowd loves it and loves him and are supporting him every minute of the day. It was great to see him out there. He gave us a big energy boost.”