BOSTON — Bruins forward Nathan Horton was taken off the ice on a stretcher, strapped to a backboard, after a frightening collision with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome in the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals on Monday night.
The team announced that Horton was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and was moving his arms and legs. When the medical update was put on the scoreboard noting that Horton was moving his extremities, the crowd rose for a standing ovation.
Boston coach Claude Julien told the Versus television broadcast that he had no other information on Horton, who is in the playoffs for the first time in his NHL career.
"It's a tough thing to swallow right now," Julien said. "Our spirits are OK. I heard guys saying, 'Let's do it for Horty.' So we're good to go."
Horton had just passed the puck to Milan Lucic and was coming over the blue line when Rome lowered a shoulder into him and knocked him backward. Horton, who appeared to hit his head on the ice, lay motionless, with his right arm in the air, as trainers rushed to attend to him.
Rome was called over to the penalty box, then ushered off the ice with a major for interference and an ejection. The NHL is in its first full season with Rule 48, a ban of blindside hits to the head of unsuspecting opponents.
The crowd gasped when the replay was shown on the scoreboard.
The third overall pick in the 2003 draft, Horton played six years for the Florida Panthers — and never made the postseason — before he was traded to Boston last summer. He had 26 goals and 27 assists for the Bruins in the regular season and eight goals and nine assists in 20 playoff games — including two Game 7 winners.