MONTREAL — Bruins center Chris Kelly figures he hasn’t worn a full cage over his face to play hockey since he was 14.
That’s going to change tonight.
The veteran forward wore a cage as he took the morning skate with his team at the Bell Centre in preparation for tonight’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Bruins and Montreal. The Canadiens lead the series 2-1.
Head coach Claude Julien was asked if Kelly would play.
“That’s exactly it. He’s ready to go,” said the coach. “He’s going to be in the lineup tonight. That’s as plain as I can put it.”
Kelly suffered a facial injury in Monday’s Game 3 win, when he was pushed into the goal post by Montreal’s Scott Gomez. He finished the game but returned the next day to Boston to be re-examined. Kelly said there was no fracture and the doctors gave him the green light.
He also noted that getting through Game 3 wasn’t a problem and that it was the doctors’ decision to have him head to Boston when the rest of the club went to Lake Placid, N.Y.
“That’s not my call. I go out and play and they do their job and I listen,” he said.
As for Gomez, Kelly says there’s no grudge.
“No, it’s a hockey play. It’s part of the game and I think I commented after the game, I know Gomez. I’ve played against him for a lot of years and he’s a good honest player and works hard. And I don’t think it was deliberate by any means,” said Kelly.