Chris Kelly Returns to Boston to Have Facial Injury Examined, But Is Expected to Be Ready for Game 4


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — The Bruins took the ice at the USA Rink at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid on Wednesday morning for a final tune-up before returning to Montreal for Thursday's Game 4 at the Bell Centre.

But there was one Bruin missing from the hour-long workout. Forward Chris Kelly has returned to Boston to have a facial injury further evaluated before rejoining the team in Montreal. 

"He just went back to Boston today to see our doctors just to make sure everything's OK," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the practice. "We anticipate him back in Montreal with us tonight."

Kelly was injured when he was shoved from behind into the Montreal net by Canadiens forward Scott Gomez at 11:21 of the first period in Monday's 4-2 win in Game 3. Kelly hit his face on the post and was shaken up, but did return to finish the game, scoring the empty-netter to ice the victory in the final minute.

Gomez was given a two-minute minor for interference on the play, which may have left Kelly with a fracture in his face. Even if there is a fracture, though, Kelly isn't expected to miss any games.

"Everything's alright according to what we know," Julien said. "There might be a fracture there, but nothing that would prevent him from playing."

If Kelly can't go in Game 4, rookie Tyler Seguin would likely get the nod and have a chance to play in his first NHL playoff game. Seguin has been a healthy scratch in the first three games, but was working on a line with Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder in Wednesday's practice.

Fellow rookie Jamie Arniel also rotated into the drills on that line, while Jordan Caron joined fourth-liners Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille. The top two lines of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi remained unchanged, while the defense pairs also remained the same as on Monday. Zdeno Chara was paired with Dennis Seidenberg, Tomas Kaberle with Adam McQuaid, Andrew Ference with Johnny Boychuk and spare blueliners Shane Hnidy and Matt Bartkowski were together.

Goalies Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin also participated in the practice, which finished a two-day stay in Lake Placid that allowed the club to get away from the media spotlight in Montreal, relax a bit and work on their game in a crisp practice.

"I think what we wanted to accomplish was get a little bit of rest here and come here and have a quality practice which we did today, then head back to Montreal," Julien said. "The guys had a chance to walk around yesterday, I thought they seemed really relaxed and that's the best way to keep yourselves fresh for playoffs. And they enjoyed the few days that we spent here, so to me it was a positive trip."

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