MONTREAL — Us mere mortals wouldn’t be able to go to an office job with the facial injury Chris Kelly suffered last Monday, let alone play in an NHL game.
Although he reportedly didn’t suffer a fracture, Kelly has an ugly shiner and plenty of swelling for his efforts.
And tonight he had to go with a full cage over his face in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with Montreal at the Bell Centre.
Well, if his performance in the Bruins’ series-tying 5-4 overtime win is any indication how he handles the pain, the Bruins might be willing to bang up Kelly’s face a little more as this series and the playoffs roll on.
The pain failed to slow Kelly down on the ice or dampen his enthusiasm after the victory.
Kelly scored the game-tying goal with 6:18 left in regulation and then set up Michael Ryder’s game-winning goal 1:59 into overtime. The goal was his first scored in this series on a non-empty net. He has now matched his total from 24 regular-season games in a Bruins uniform.
“I think we were just kind of getting the puck to the net and tried to outnumber them and it popped out to me and I whacked at it and it went 5-hole,” said Kelly about his goal.
On the game-winning play, Kelly retrieved Rich Peverley’s wide shot off the glass and then feed it to Ryder sitting at the left of the slot.
“I was definitely excited to see ‘Rides’ get the puck backdoor there and put it in,” said Kelly. “I thought our line didn’t have a great first period, but I thought we bounced back well in the second and so on.”
For the night, the Kelly-Peverley-Ryder line combined for eight points. They were on the ice when Montreal scored the first goal of the game, but in the second period Ryder tied the game and the trio continued to improve from there.
“Besides the first shift that those guys had, they were really good the rest of the night,” said head coach Claude Julien. “And he was one of those guys. Michael scored two goals, but Kelly scores one and gets an assist on another one. That whole line was really good for us tonight. You need those kinds of things in the playoffs. You need guys to step up.”