"He's ready to go and will be in the lineup tonight," said coach Claude Julien.
There was some thought he could have suffered a facial fracture in Game 3 and the team sent him back to Boston on Wednesday for an examination by team doctors. Kelly said after Thursday’s game-day skate that there is no fracture and he’s good to go.
“I feel good, great actually,” Kelly said. “It was good to get back on the ice and get going again. I’m good to play tonight. I went back to see the doctors in Boston and they gave me the green light, saying everything is OK.”
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.
Kelly said he had no issues with the hit by Gomez on that play.
“It’s a hockey play,” Kelly said. “It’s part of the game. I know Gomez and he’s a good, honest player and works hard. I don’t think it was deliberate by any means.”
Not only is Kelly sporting a nice shiner under his right eye, but he’s also wearing a full cage to protect his face. He said he doesn’t know how long he needs to wear it, but it didn’t bother him during the skate.
“It wasn’t too bad, actually,” Kelly said. “It was a lot better than I thought.