Nathan Horton left the first overtime of Wednesday’s Game 1 after suffering a pretty strange, non-contact injury while in front of the Blackhawks net. Horton appeared to injure his left shoulder while jostling with Niklas Hjalmarsson in front of the net towards the end of the first OT in Chicago.
The Bruins forward didn’t return to the game and Claude Julien declined to give the media an injury update after the Bruins’ 4-3 loss in 3OT, but early speculation is that Horton re-aggravated the same left shoulder injury that he suffered during a fight with Jarome Iginla during the regular season.
Horton missed the final five games of the regular season because of the upper body injury, but returned for the start of the playoffs. Despite his effectiveness (18 points in 17 games and leading all NHL players with a plus-22 rating in the playoffs), many believe that Horton has been playing through a significant amount of pain through the entire playoffs.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Horton was present in the Bruins locker room without any noticeable cast or obvious signs of a serious injury following Game 1. There’s still hope that the big forward can get back into the lineup at some point during this series, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s not 100%.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty believes the injury will require Horton to undergo surgery in the offseason, which isn’t great news for a guy who is about to finish the final year of an expiring contract.
This continues a string of bad luck in the Stanley Cup Finals for Horton, who was also knocked out of the 2011 Cup Final during Game 2 when Aaron Rome delivered a late, high hit that concussed the Bruin and prematurely ended his season.
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