Bruins' Horton practices, will be game-day decision

Friday, 06.14.2013 / 4:15 PM | Mike G. Morreale  - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Forward Nathan Horton returned to the ice Friday during practice as the Boston Bruins resumed preparations for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Horton and Tyler Seguin split line rushes with the top unit alongside center David Krejci and wing Milan Lucic. Boston coach Claude Julien reiterated to the media after practice that Horton remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury he sustained in the first overtime of Game 1 Wednesday. A decision on whether he is in the lineup will be made Saturday.

Horton wasn't made available to the media after practice.

"He's day-to-day and that's where he is," Julien said. "That's why he practiced [Friday] and we'll have to make a decision on Nate [Saturday]. But it was encouraging to see him out there today, and if he feels good, he's in the lineup."

Julien also said if Horton does feel healthy enough to play, he would assume his normal role on the top line.

"Absolutely … if he's in, it's about him playing," Julien said. "If he can't play and I just use him once in a while, I might as well put someone out there who can play the minutes. But if he's in, he's in where he belongs. I'll be very straightforward with you guys on that … if he's in, it'll be in the position where he plays."

Horton was injured with about seven minutes left in the first overtime of Game 1 after a seemingly routine push to the chest of Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Immediately after shoving 6-foot-3, 207-pound Hjalmarsson, Horton (6-2, 229) grimaced and bent over in obvious pain before skating to the bench. He quickly retreated to the dressing room and did not play again, leaving the Bruins one forward short in what would turn out to be the fifth-longest game in the history of the Cup Final (112:08).

The Blackhawks won Game 1, 4-3, in triple overtime.

Seguin took over most of the shifts on the top line in Horton's absence, but changes are likely in order for Game 2 if Horton, a right wing, is unable to return.

"I'll be ready with anyone I'm playing with," Seguin said. "I'm not sure who I'll be with. I just want to be able to step in where I'm needed."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

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