The Boston Bruins have floundered down the stretch as they head into their sixth straight postseason appearance, with many of their missteps coming against teams out of playoff contention.
They'll try to clean up their sloppy play against another opponent well behind them in the standings Thursday night as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins (27-13-5) sit second in the Eastern Conference and at the top of the Northeast Division with 59 points. Montreal also has the same amount of points but Boston currently owns the tiebreaker with a game in hand.
But while the Bruins have already clinched a playoff berth, they haven't exactly seized the chance to secure their seeding, dropping five of six.
Three of the last four losses - including Tuesday's 5-2 defeat at Philadelphia - have come against teams already eliminated from playoff contention. Thursday's matchup is another one as Tampa Bay trails Boston by 19 points. The Bruins' two other remaining games won't be against push...