Horton's life & career have changed/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — We all know Nathan Horton is always smiling.

So to see him a little glassy-eyed rinkside tonight during the Bruins’ victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final had to be as different an experience for his teammates as it was for outside observers.

Horton was shown waving on the Jumbotron during the first television timeout of the Bruins’ 5-2 win.His patented grin was highly visible, but so were some tears in his big, brown eyes.

The TD Garden crowd erupted and everyone on the Bruins’ bench clapped or tapped his stick against the boards. Before you knew it, the Bruins had a 4-0 lead and had chased Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo from the game.

“It reminded us that there’s a guy who would love to be on the bench with us or on the ice. And we tried to play for him too,” said Horton’s usual linemate David Krejci.

Horton continues to recover from the concussion he suffered as the result of a late hit by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome in the first period of Game 3. Horton was feeling well enough to attend the game, even if he won’t be able to play in Wednesday’s dramatic Game 7.

“Yeah, we didn’t know that they were going to be doing that and showing him up there,” said Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who opened the scoring 5:31 in. “You know for him to come in and give us that boost of energy is unbelievable. And obviously the crowd loves it and loves him and are supporting him every minute of the day. It was great to see him out there. He gave us a big energy boost.”