Bruins with big, bad week ahead

Patrice Bergeron is close to a return. (Getty Images)
Patrice Bergeron is close to a return. (Getty Images)

There is less than two weeks left in the 2013 NHL regular season and the Bruins have just seven games remaining (five home, two away) before the playoffs begin on April 30. Despite a brutal 4-2 loss in Carolina on Saturday, they are still in good shape: one point behind Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division and even though they don’t play head-to-head again, four of the Canadiens’ last seven games are on the road.

This upcoming week is pivotal for the B’s as they have four games in a row at TD Garden: today vs. Ottawa (7 p.m., NESN), Wednesday vs. Buffalo, Friday vs. Pittsburgh and Sunday afternoon vs. Florida. Boston has the best home record (14-3-2) in the Eastern Conference so if they are going to make a move, now is the time. They are 4-0-0 against the Senators (21-14-6) this season, all four wins have been one-goal games. The Sabres (17-19-6) are going to miss the playoffs, the Penguins (32-10-0) are the top team in the East and the Panthers (13-22-6) are the worst team in the East.

Do-everything center Patrice Bergeron has been practicing with the team this past week and he traveled to Carolina but didn’t suit up for the game. It sounds like he could be back this week which would be huge for the B’s who are 3-3-0 since he got a concussion against Ottawa on April 2. Brad Marchand’s return seems further away. The other player that will be added to the mix is the mysterious Carl Soderberg, who the Bruins obtained in a 2007 trade but has played his entire career in Sweden since that time. It’s hard to figure out what to expect from him but Bruins brass is confident that he will be a better option than the likes of Jordan Caron, Kaspers Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo going forward.

If Boston can take care of business and beat Ottawa and Buffalo like they should, it sets up the biggest game of the regular season: Friday vs. Pittsburgh. The Bruins lost twice in Pittsburgh in mid-March and this is the only shot they get against them at the Garden. Everyone will be picking the Penguins to win the Eastern Conference (assuming Sidney Crosby is back from his broken jaw) so the B’s will want to have a good showing to prove they can beat Pittsburgh. Plus, it is the first chance for Boston fans to give Jarome Iginla a piece of their minds.

Follow Metro Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.