Horton's presence allows Julien to keep top six intact

Monday, 06.17.2013 / 12:54 PM | Matt Kalman  - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- While Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien had to do some juggling with his bottom-six forwards during his teams Game 2 overtime win Saturday in Chicago, at least he was able to keep his top-two lines together in their usual alignment.

Prior to the second game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, it looked like Julien might've had to start the game with a new top six because of Nathan Horton's injury status. Not only did Horton play, he performed well enough to stay in his usual spot on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

Horton logged 21:29 of ice time.

Horton, Krejci and Lucic figure to again be together when the Bruins host Game 3 of the Cup Final Monday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden.

"I think he played well," Krejci said of his longtime linemate. "It was a tough game. I don't think there was one guy who stood out or had every shift outstanding. But I think we played better as a team as the game went along, and we got a win out of it. So I think personally [Horton], to me, he looked pretty good. We all had a tough start, tough first period. But I think we bounced back as a team and got a win."

With the line of Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin accounting for both Boston goals Saturday, Julien will probably open Game 3 with that group together. That leaves Kaspars Daugavins, Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton to try and gain some chemistry and earn some ice time. Julien said having the second change on home ice could provide the opportunity to play a fourth line more.

"There's no doubt it makes it a little bit easier," Julien said. "Doesn't mean it's going to happen all the time, but it certainly is a lot easier."

Here is the Bruins' projected lineup:

Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronJaromir Jagr

Daniel PailleChris KellyTyler Seguin

Kaspars DaugavinsRich PeverleyShawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaDennis Seidenberg

Andrew FerenceJohnny Boychuk

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Carl Soderberg, Jordan Caron, Jay Pandolfo, Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, Aaron Johnson.

Injured: Gregory Campbell

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