Toucher and Rich

BOSTON (CBS) — The playoff picture just got a lot cloudier for the Boston Bruins.

Boston fell to the Ottawa Senators, 6-4, Thursday night, further shrinking their hold on the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins now own just a two-point lead over Ottawa, and the Senators have a game in hand.

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The Bruins fell behind early Thursday night, just 19 seconds in, but quickly tied it on Carl Soderberg’s first goal of the century. Ryan Spooner gave them a lead a few minutes later, but a Milan Michalek tally had everything even again by the end of the period. Both teams traded a pair of goals in the second period, but Bobby Ryan put Ottawa on top for good midway through the third period. Boston couldn’t answer, and will now have to really take things up a notch over the next three weeks.

Joe Haggery of Comcast Sports New England joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Johnston & Flynn on Friday morning (filling in for Toucher & Rich), and isn’t feeling very good about this Bruins team as the regular season winds down.

“When you watch that game and see the end result, you saw the third period coming and ending the way it did. It’s just another example of this Bruins team, while they’re good in some areas and competitive enough to make a game of [Thursday night], there are danger signs all over the place with this team,” said Haggerty. “Whether it was the shootout loss to Buffalo or the game last night – the biggest game of the year and they didn’t come out with anything close to what they needed to win — there are trouble signs all over the place with this team.”

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Haggerty said the Bruins missing the playoffs could become a grim reality come April 12th.

“[Bruins fans] should be extremely worried. Ottawa is coming on strong and playing really well. There is something sort of special about that team; you get that feeling that they’re starting to believe and there is a lot of positive energy around them,” he said. “You can tell there is something going on in Ottawa. Meanwhile you have the Bruins, who are feeling all the pressure in the world trying to hold them off. There are not a lot of positive vibes with that team, and you feel like they’re just trying to survive.”

Of Boston’s remaining 11 games, six of them come against potential playoff teams.

“It’s going to be a really difficult road for the Bruins,” said Haggerty. “They’re going to have to show a lot of character and willingness to fight through adversity – a lot of things, frankly, they haven’t shown a lot this season. They’re going to have to show it over the last 11 games if they want to survive and get into the playoffs. After watching the game [Thursday night] there is a clear and present danger that this team is not going to make the playoffs because of how they’ve played in certain situations.”

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