Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton said he’s ready to skate in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night at United Center.
Just as crucial, his coach agreed hours before the puck dropped.
“He feels really good, “Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He looked really good out there, the last two days. There’s absolutely no reason he shouldn’t play tonight.”
Horton left the ice in obvious pain in the first overtime of Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals and did not return as the Chicago Blackhawks scored a 4-3 victory in triple OT.
Game 2 is Saturday at 8 p.m. ET in Chicago.
Though the Bruins have been mum on the extent of Horton’s injury, Boston radio station WEEI reported Thursday night he has a separated left shoulder that eventually will require surgery. The injury reportedly occurred during an April 20 fight with Penguins forward Jarome Iginla.
Horton addressed reporters for the first time since Game 1 Saturday’s pre-game skate, although he declined to describe the injury.
“I’m not in any pain,” Horton said. “I feel good. I’m ready to play. That’s it. I’m excited to get going.”
For the second consecutive day, Horton skated with the Bruins’ top line alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci.
“I’m just trying to get ready for Game 2 like any player here,” Horton said.
Tyler Seguin filled in on the top line after Horton went down fighting for position in front of the net with Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson in Game 1. Seguin also skated with Lucic and Krejci at Friday’s practice.
Horton (18 points), is the NHL’s second-leading scorer this postseason, trailing only Krejci (23).