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Can the Bruins get back to the Finals? This stretch run will tell us a lot

The Bruins returned from a nearly three-week Olympic break on Wednesday night, dropping your basic come-from-behind-fall-from-ahead-in-less-than-a-minute, 5-4 decision in overtime to the Buffalo Sabres. It was an ugly loss, marked by prolonged stretches of both razor sharp, aggressive play and general rustiness and lack of focus. The break came at a lousy time for the Bruins, who were 8-1-2 in their last 11 games prior to the Olympics and not surprisingly looked mighty inconsistent against the Sabres after 18 days off.

But don’t read too much into the loss. Instead, let’s take a look at the upcoming stretch run, which will include Thursday’s trade deadline and consist of 24 games beginning with tomorrow’s matinee at the TD Garden against the Washington Capitals and ending with the regular season finale on April 13, at New Jersey. More