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A Banner Day for Kelly

Sunday, 04.01.2012 / 12:21 AM / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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A Banner Day for Kelly
BostonBruins.com -- It might be a stretch to call the B's 6-3 victory over the non-playoff contending New York Islanders memorable.

But for Chris Kelly, who last scored 20 (plus) goals with the AHL's Binghamton Senators back in 2004-05, it was a night to put in the (personal) record book.

Kelly, who first played in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators during the 2003-04 season, notched his first 20 goal (hopefully plus) National Hockey League campaign when he scored at 4:58 of the second period.

"Obviously, it’s nice to get that kind of milestone and 20 goals," said Kelly. "I’ve never scored 20 in the NHL and a perfect example of a product of being on a good team.

"Everyone plays hard, everyone plays together and plays for one another."

Which is why teammates, like Kelly's fellow alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, will tell you that Chris is an important part of their "good team."

"To be honest with you I’m not surprised," said Bergeron. "The way he’s been playing all year is amazing.

"He’s so responsible defensively, he always creates chances for himself and his line.

"To see him score 20 is very special - I’m very happy for him," he said.

But Kelly didn't wax poetic about his accomplishment, and couched the personal accolade with talk about the Islanders.

"We were on for that first goal right after we scored, so it was nice we could get that one back and respond."

Kelly did more than respond. He skated into the New York zone to chase down a long Brian Rolston rebound off Isles goaltender Al Montoya's pads, which was mishandled by the home team's defense.

"Well, I noticed that the D-man kind of put that winger in a tough spot with that bank pass," explained Kelly. "I’ve been on kind of the other end of that on the boards and you’re trying to find it, so it just happened to be catching the guy going into the zone and I was going out of the zone."

Anyone in New England who has watched Kelly since he arrived in Boston, knows that the forward doesn't "just happen" to do anything. All of Kelly's success derives directly from his ability to bring a consistent effort to each and every game and practice.

But right now, his consistency, and the work of his linemates like Rolston, Benoit Pouliot and Rich Peverley, has helped put the Bruins back on a consistently wining track.

"I thought we stuck with it tonight," said Kelly. "They’re playing extremely well [the Islanders], and it would’ve been easy to kind of trade punches for punches and I thought we stuck with the game plan.

"When they scored [to make it 4-3], Bergy’s line went out there and answered right back and we just kept building momentum from that."

You could also say that the B's momentum began building a little bit earlier during the game - like 4:58 of the second.

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