Bruins Focus: Final Week Of Regular Season Big Test For Boston

The Bruins are jockeying for playoff positions

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The final week of the 2021-22 NHL regular season is upon us, and the Bruins continue to fight for seeding in the Atlantic Division.

Boston wraps up its season with games against the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs. Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Bruins are three points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the division and three points ahead of the Washington Capitals for the first wild card spot.

The B’s have won their last two games against the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, the latter being without David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm, and are 5-5-0 in their last 10. Though they’ve hit a bit of a slump, things seem to be trending in the right direction, as the season comes to a close.

Let’s take a look at their schedule:
Tuesday, April 26 vs. Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. ET
Thursday, April 28 vs. Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m. ET
Friday, April 29 at Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. ET

What Bruins fans need to know
The Panthers are on a roll and have won nine of their last 10 games and hold a nine-point lead over the Maple Leafs. They already have clinched the Atlantic Division, so now it’s just a matter of who can lock up the two through four seeds behind them. Florida has split its series with Boston and look to get back in the win column Tuesday night.

The Sabres don’t have anything to play for after missing the playoffs for yet another season but they can play spoiler for the Bruins as they try to catch the Lightning.

The Maple Leafs will try to maintain their five-point lead over the Bolts for second place. A lot could ride on the final game of the season between Boston and Toronto and could make for some very entertaining hockey.

Who Bruins need to watch out for
Jonathan Huberdeau (Panthers) — Huberdeau has a four-game point streak and leads Florida with 115 points and 85 assists. The forward amassed two assists in two games against Boston this season.

Tage Thompson (Sabres) — Even though Buffalo’s season will come to an end this week that won’t stop the Sabres from trying to keep their opponents out of higher seeds. Thompson leads his team with 37 goals as he continues to be a bright spot. He also has points in the Sabres’ last six games.

Mitch Marner (Maple Leafs) — Marner leads Toronto with 62 assists and has 25 points on the power play. It’s likely we’ll see some of the Leafs’ best hockey to conclude the regular season as they look to lock up the No. 2 seed.

Odds
The Bruins are the +150 underdogs on home ice Tuesday night, according to DraftKings. Erik Haula, who had two goals against the Canadiens, is +295 to score at any point during the game. If you’re not feeling that bold, though, Aleksander Barkov (+125) and Patrice Bergeron (+175) are some other options to bet on. Brad Marchand is in the midst of a scoring drought that’s bound to change soon, right? The Bruins forward is +130 to score at TD Garden.

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