– In an effort to strike some consistent offensive production in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild, Head Coach Claude Julien moved Chris Kelly
to center David Krejci
’s line, while No. 46 took the ice opposite left-winger Milan Lucic
The results were promising considering the new line produced seven of the team’s 22 third-period shots, especially after the previous combination of Lucic, Krejci and Benoit Pouliot
produced just five all game.
Based on this morning’s skate, Kelly will continue to center the line tonight as the Bruins try to turn things around against the St. Louis Blues (36-16-7) at the Scottrade Center.
“Hopefully we can continue what we did in the third period last game,” Kelly said. “I thought our line had some good chances. Dave’s a smart player – we can figure the right wing-center thing out pretty easily.
"So, I don’t see that being a problem and hopefully we can go out there and generate some chances.”
The chances will have to come often tonight against the Blues, who lead the NHL with a 1.88 goals against average.
“They’re obviously a great hockey team and there’s not many holes in their lineup,” Kelly said. “They have four good lines and six D that move the puck well and skate well – obviously two good goalies. I think this is a great challenge for us.”
Perhaps the greatest challenge of all will be getting past Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, whose 1.56 GAA is tops in the NHL.
That doesn’t bode well for the Black & Gold, who have struggled to score as of late.
The Bruins (35-20-2) are 4-6 in their last 10 games – averaging just 1.05 goals-per-game in that span.
But Julien said he is hoping the new line will help get the ball rolling.
“We hope they adapt well enough that they’ll be able to bring something to the game tonight,” he said.
On paper, it appears as if the trio has plenty to bring to the game and Kelly is eager to get back on the ice with his new linemates.
Lucic (20-22-42) and Krejci (12-28-40), rank third and fourth on the team with points, while Lucic’s 20 goals are tied with Tyler Seguin
for the team lead.
“I’ve played with some good players,” Kelly said, who has 14 goals and 13 assists this season. “And Dave and Looch are definitely up there as top linemates, so I’m definitely looking forward to it tonight.”--- Anthony Gulizia