Battle wounds won't stop Lucic, Kelly
May, 10, 2013
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- When players are sporting black eyes and stitch marks all over their faces, it's a sure sign of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Both the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs suffered some injuries during Boston's 4-3 overtime win in Game 4 Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre. The Bruins will be without veteran defenseman Wade Redden for Game 5 tonight due to an undisclosed injury. He's listed as day-to-day. Bruins forwards Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly both suffered facial lacerations during Game 4 but will play tonight.
Lucic was hit in the face by a redirected puck in the closing seconds of the first period Wednesday, when the Bruins were on a power play. He dropped to the ice and was bleeding as the buzzer sounded to end the period. He then got to his feet and slowly skated off the ice with team trainer Don Del Negro waiting for him at the bench. Fortunately for the Bruins, he returned for the start of the second period and quickly assisted on Patrice Bergeron's power-play goal at 32 seconds.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesChris Kelly, sporting stitches on his cheek after taking a high stick to the face on Wednesday, wasn't holding back at the Bruins' morning skate.
After Friday's morning skate at TD Garden, Lucic's right eye was swollen and slightly closed. He was sporting nine stitches above his eye, but said there are no vision issues.
"I've been icing it the last few days, but I probably have the worst eyesight on the team and I'm squinting all the time [without the injury], so it shouldn't be a problem.
"I feel good," added Lucic. "I'm looking forward to tonight. Obviously I've got a little bit of a shiner on my right eye, but looking forward to tonight and there's a lot on the line for both teams. After last game, we expect them to come out hard and bring their best because we know what they're playing for and we need to come out with the same approach as the Leafs are."
Kelly was injured when he took a nasty high stick to the face from the Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri only 58 seconds into the third period. Kelly was cut on the play and skated directly to the dressing, and Kadri was handed a double-minor. Kelly received "nine or 10" stitches on his right cheek, but he's fine.
"Just a little swollen, just a cut, it's fine," Kelly said after Friday's skate. "It was bleeding and the refs knew it was bleeding, so there's no need for me to lay on the ice; skate off and get it done quickly."
The Maple Leafs will be without defenseman Mark Fraser, who had surgery on Thursday to repair a broken bone after being hit in the forehead with a puck shot by Lucic midway through the third period in Game 4.
"He's back home resting comfortably," said Toronto coach Randy Carlyle on Friday morning. "It is tough when you lose players, and lose players to that type of injury."