The Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup title defense got off to a solid start on Thursday night, thanks to the overtime heroics of Chris Kelly.
The Bruins' center snapped off a wicked slap shot in overtime to beat the Washington Capitals at the TD Bank Garden and give Boston a 1-0 edge in its best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series. Kelly collected a pass up from Benoit Pouliot while breaking down the left wing before putting it past Caps goaltender Braden Holtby.
Boston dominated DC throughout, but couldn't quite come up with a goal in regulation against the Caps rookie goalie. Zdeno Chara and the Bruins' blue line did a brilliant job of defending DC's dynamic duo of Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, limiting them to four shots on goal combined, while Tim Thomas, last year's Conn Smythe winner, stopped all 17 of Washington's total attempts.
Kelly was hardly the most likely culprit to come up with a game winner. The eighth-year veteran was only the sixth-most prolific sniper on the Bruins' roster this season, behind the likes of Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic.
But, as the Bruins know full well, any successful chase for the Cup requires a total team effort, with key contributions from everyone on the roster.
And tonight, Kelly came up with his.