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Kelly: "These games are so important."

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

We caught up with Chris Kelly after today's morning skate to talk about facing his former team tonight, skating on a line with Viktor Stalberg and Tommy Wingels and more...

On the team's progression this season:

We've been playing well and I think we've matured a lot as a group from the start of the season. It's still a battle though right to the end because the standings are so tight and it seems like there are big games every night. The way we approach it is as another opportunity for us to learn and grow as a group and see how we manage these games.

Comparing this team to contenders he's been a part of in the past:

It has the makings of a great team. Goaltending is huge. You look at all the teams that have success in the post-season and it starts with their goaltending. Our goaltending has been great all year. Condon has come in in Craig's absence and been outstanding and really put us in a position to be in the playoff hunt. With Craig coming back, he's been outstanding since his return. Every team is different and in order to have success in the post-season you need luck and you need to stay healthy so hopefully we can get both of those.

On skating on a line with new additions Viktor Stalberg and Tommy Wingels:

It's only been two games but both guys skate extremely well and read well off each other. I liked our first game and I felt like there were still areas we could improve on and I thought last game we did that and got a little bit better as a line from the first game. That's all it is...just getting a little bit more familiar with one another and being able to read off each other. Obviously Stalberg is still trying to understand the system a little bit more but the two games so far have been good.

Video: CBJ@OTT: Stalberg nets his first goal as a Senator

On facing his former team tonight:

It's always special to face your former team and these games are so important. Boston has been playing well and we play them three more times including tonight so these are big games for us. It's going to be a good game out there.
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