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Horvat is a horse

There was some good news on a night to forget.

What started in the playoff bubble with Horvat scoring 10 goals in 17 games has continued in early stages of this season. The captain struck for two first-period goals to become the first player to hit the five-goal mark.

Aftter scoring twice Wednesday and also in the shootout to cement the win, the centre didn’t need long Thursday to prove he didn’t lose his drive or touch in the off-season.

First, it was his deft stick deflection of a Myers shot at the side of the net to erase a 1-0 deficit, and then finishing off what it is quickly becoming the club’s bread-and-butter play. On the power play, Miller operated on the left wall and calmly circled until Horvat found a seam in the bumper position. One quick pass and one quick release to the glove side drew the Canuck into a 2-2 draw.

That was the good stuff, but Horvat wasn’t going to gloss over a bad loss.

“We have to figure it out within our dressing room and buy in,” he started. “Everybody has to step up, including myself, and take responsibility. We’re six games in and we still have things to learn and clean up. I can put as many pucks as I want in the net, but if we’re not winning it’s not good enough.”

When Horvat was asked about Green’s “immature” quote and players losing their way, Schmidt stepped in.

“Looking at this group from an outside perspective in playing them in a playoff series (with Las Vegas), you get a couple of games up on them and you think it’s going to be easy,” recalled Schmidt. “This group had a lot of jam and didn’t give up and made it as hard as it could be for us to move on.

“It’s a series like that why there is frustration with our group. You see how hard we can make it for teams to win. When I signed it was because this team wasn’t going to let other teams come in and win. It’s a gut check and reality check. We know it (effort) can be there and that’s the reason it’s frustrating.”

bkuzma@postmedia.com

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