BostonBruins.com - While Chris Kelly is getting closer to his return to the lineup, that moment was not coming Monday night on Long Island.
The Bruins' game against the New York Islanders marked the centerman's 22nd out of the lineup, after recovering from his broken right fibula (calf bone) suffered back on December 7.
"He's not going to go tonight. We made that decision and I think as far as his injury is concerned, he's healed so probably a possibility for tomorrow [Tuesday]," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had said on Monday morning, prior to facing the Isles.
Kelly has taken part in two practices with contact, and skated Monday morning during the team's optional skate at the Nassau Coliseum.
The Bruins' game in New York began a back-to-back, with them next hosting the Florida Panthers Tuesday night at TD Garden, followed by the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and Saturday.
"Certainly don't want to throw him into action with four games in six nights," said Julien. "I think it's a lot for a guy who's been out for six weeks, and certainly don't want any setbacks."
"So we're going to sit him out [against the Islanders] and probably a good possibility for the Florida game."
Julien has said that Kelly's return will be a joint decision among the center, the trainers and coaching staff.
"When we feel he's ready, there won't be any hesitation at putting him in."