- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Bruins forward Chris Kelly returned to Boston and is being examined by team doctors for a possible facial fracture.
He’s expected to rejoin the team in Montreal and should be able to play in Game 4 against the Canadiens Thursday night at Bell Centre, according to Bruins coach Claude Julien.
“He went back to Boston today to see our doctors just to make sure everything is OK,” Julien said after the team practice this morning. “We anticipate him back in Montreal with us tonight. Everything is all right, according to what we know. There might be a fracture, but nothing that would prevent him from playing.”
Whether or not he plays will be a game-time decision, and if he's able to, it's likely he'll wear a full cage to protect his face.
Kelly suffered the injury when he slammed face first into the post after the Canadiens’ Scott Gomez hit him from behind with 8:34 remaining in the first period of Game 3 Monday night. Kelly was clearly shaken up on the play, but remained in the game. Gomez was given a penalty on the play for interference.
"To be honest, it's a little bit like the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty," said Julien. "It's a hit that turned out badly. In Kelly's case, it was interference, but I don't think [Gomez] meant to push him into the net or go head first into the post. You've got to understand that there's a part of the game that the result of what happens is not necessarily the intention. Was it a penalty? Absolutely. I don't think there was any intent to injure and thankfully our player came out of it OK.
"Thank God he had a visor on, which certainly helped take the blow a way a little bit. Still, it was a very dangerous play."