"I feel good," Horton said then. "There are no setbacks and I'm ready to go. In the playoffs, everyone is playing physical and everyone has bruises. I'm good to go."
The Bruins trail the best-of-7 series, 1-0. The Blackhawks scored a 4-3 triple overtime victory in Game 1 Wednesday.
In what appeared to be a harmless-looking play in front of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, Horton sustained a game-ending injury with his team on the power-play midway through the first OT period after a seemingly routine push to the chest of Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Immediately after shoving the 6-foot-3, 207-pound defenseman, Horton (6-2, 229) grimaced and bent over in obvious pain before skating to the bench. He quickly retreated to the dressing room, 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).
"It was tough watching the team in Game 1 when I went out," Horton said. "It was a tough, long game and obviously I didn't come out on the right end of it and now we have to make up for it [Saturday]."
Having Horton at 100 percent and ready for Game 2 was certainly great news for the Bruins, considering how much pain he appeared to be in with seven minutes remaining in the first overtime of Game 1. Horton's 18 points rank second in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and his plus-22 rating is first. He's scored two power-play goals and three game-winners.
"He looks really good and feels really good," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "There's no reason for him not to go."
Jaromir Jagr was the only player not on the ice for the Bruins at the morning skate but was in the lineup.
"He's 100 percent … he's 41 [years old]," Julien said, prompting a chuckle from all those present.
Jagr has played with center Patrice Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand on the second unit; Rich Peverley centers the third unit with Daniel Paille and Tyler Seguin. Chris Kelly centers Kaspars Daugavins and Shawn Thornton on the fourth line.
Bruins defenseman Torey Krug, who made an ill-advised pass that led to Chicago's second goal of the game and ignited the home team's third-period comeback, was looking forward to getting back on the ice. The 22-year-old was benched for the remainder of the period following the giveaway.
"I'm looking forward to getting out there and getting back at it," Krug said. "I just want to forget about everything that has happened in the past and just focus on tonight. We feel good as a team. There are a lot of things we could have done better in Game 1 and we fell just short. I'm sure both teams felt that way."
Here was the projected Game 2 lineup for the Bruins: