Corvo was smashed into the boards by Carolina forward Brett Sutter midway through the first period of Tuesday's game against the Hurricanes. Sutter was called for interference, while Corvo remained down in the corner in pain for several minutes, then spent the remainder of the opening period in the Boston locker room.
Corvo returned in the second and played the rest of the way, but Kelly still took it upon himself to get a little payback during the third period. Kelly pulled Sutter out of a scrum and dropped the gloves, then dropped Sutter with a right after getting the Hurricanes forward's jersey up over his head.
"That was a great thing he did," Corvo said. "I definitely have to get him something for that one."
Corvo is one of the newest members of the Bruins, having come to the club in a trade with that same Hurricanes team this summer. But he's quickly learning to appreciate the camaraderie on this club and the way the Bruins are always willing to stick up for one another.
The fact that it was Kelly sending the message was particularly impressive. On a team full of players known for their ability to throw fists, Kelly is one of the last players you'd expect to see getting involved in a fight. But he didn't hesitate when he had a chance to avenge the hit on Corvo on Tuesday.
"I was trying to think back to the last time I saw him fight and I couldn't even remember," Corvo said. "So it was out of character and I like it."
Kelly's last fight was on Dec. 28, 2005. That one also came against Carolina in defense of a teammate, when he fought Chad LaRose during Kelly's first full season in the NHL. Kelly was coming to the aid of Senators linemate Patrick Eaves on that night, after LaRose belted Eaves with a dangerous hit from behind. LaRose, like current Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason Tuesday against Nathan Horton, turtled against Kelly and did not receive a fighting major. Kelly also fought Jeff Cowan earlier that month in his only other NHL fight prior to Tuesday's bout with Sutter.
"It's him in a leadership role just trying to show that he cares and maybe to show that as bad as it was getting [Tuesday] night, something has to happen," Corvo said of Kelly's first fight in nearly six years. "You can't just stand by and just accept what was happening."
Corvo and Kelly go back a bit, as they were also teammates in Ottawa from 2006-08. Corvo arrived in Ottawa too late to see Kelly drop the mitts with the Senators, but Kelly proved himself a solid teammate and leader in plenty of other ways, so Corvo was not surprised to see Kelly named one of the Bruins' alternate captains this season.
"I've known Kells for a long time," Corvo said. "He's a great teammate. That's why he got the 'A' this year."
And it's also why he's got at least one free beer coming his way soon.