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The 2011 champion Bruins open playoffs with win,

Chris Kelly’s newest piece of jewelry is a thick, padlocked chain he wore around his neck Thursday night after scoring the game-winning goal in the Boston Bruins’ playoff opener.

The message: try not to be the weak link.

“He wasn’t,” Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said after Kelly’s goal on a long slap shot 1:18 into overtime gave the defending Stanley Cup champions a 1-0 victory against the Washington Capitals in Game 1.

“I had a good feeling it was going to go in, and I had a good feeling about the guy who had the puck,” Thomas said. “I could tell he had something. He’d been winging a few past me in practice the past few days.”

Thomas stopped all 17 shots he faced for Boston to earn his sixth career playoff shutout. But he was matched for three periods by Washington rookie goalie Braden Holtby.

Holtby made 29 saves for the Capitals, and he was still perfect when Thomas turned back Marcus Johansson with a toe save that started the Bruins on the break. Brian Rolston dropped it for Benoit Pouliot, and he pushed it up to Kelly.

Kelly uncorked a slapper that sailed over Holtby’s glove.

“I think the days of going down the wing and beating a goalie are long gone,” he said. “So I was pleasantly surprised to see it go in.”

Washington star Alex Ovechkin consoled Holtby.

“The next game will be different,” Ovechkin said. “We know we can play against them.”

 ?? Tim Thomas by Elsa, Getty Images ??
Tim Thomas by Elsa, Getty Images
 ?? By Frank Franklin II, AP ?? Happy day: The Rangers’ Brian Boyle celebrates his second-period goal during Thursday’s 4-2 playoff win vs. the Senators.
By Frank Franklin II, AP Happy day: The Rangers’ Brian Boyle celebrates his second-period goal during Thursday’s 4-2 playoff win vs. the Senators.

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