WILMINGTON, Mass. -- It’s amazing what scoring a goal can do for an NHL player when he’s gone six games without lighting the lamp and had previously endured a 13-game drought.
After breaking his latest dry spell on Saturday in a 3-0 win over the Flyers, Bruins center Chris Kelly was in fine spirits Sunday and joking with the media as he held court following practice. Kelly was asked about his double-fist pump following the goal Saturday and joked that he may need to work on the celebration a bit.
“I guess it was a reaction and maybe I need a better celebration,” Kelly said with a laugh. “Maybe I should have a better celebration. I don’t know. (Brad) Marchand just seems to go and chirp the other team’s bench.”
A reporter then asked if Kelly retrieved the puck.
“Did I ask for the puck?” Kelly quipped. “It’s my second goal. I need one for 100 (in his career) and you guys are acting like I never scored before.”
After scoring a career-high 20 goals last season, Kelly has been in a season-long drought as he and linemates Chris Bourque and Rich Peverley have been unable to provide the scoring depth that the Bruins got from the third line last season.
Bourque was waived Thursday and reassigned to Providence, and on Saturday Kelly and Peverley found themselves with a different linemate for the second straight game as recent call-up Jordan Caron replaced Jay Pandolfo, who skated on the left wing of the third line Thursday. Caron assisted on Kelly’s goal, and Kelly said he and his linemates were happy to finally ease the scoring load off the first two lines.
“It’s been no secret that our top two lines have done all the scoring and we’re in the situation where we are because they’ve been producing,” Kelly said.
The success of the team has helped the third line remain pretty upbeat despite their struggles, but as Kelly pointed out it’s still nice to leave the rink satisfied that they have done their jobs and helped the team.
“We thought we played well and it was nice to leave the rink with a bit of a smile on our faces and feel good about the way we played," Kelly said. “We expect a lot of ourselves and team success is the most important success, but you want to be contributing. You don’t want to feel like you’re letting anyone down and making other guys have to do more nor carry more of the weight than they should. So it was nice to leave feeling good about your game.”
A reporter pointed out to Kelly that the Bruins have won the last 26 games in which he’s scored.
“I heard that stat. I guess I need to score more,” Kelly said with a laugh. “I got two in 20-plus games but maybe next game, we’ll start with that.”
If he does, then maybe he can grab that puck and put his early-season woes behind him.