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With each lap of Thursday’s post-practice bag skate at Ristuccia Arena, the Bruins’ faces turned redder. The legs weighed heavier. Their strides loped longer.
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Twenty skaters and two goalies hit the ice for their first session after the Olympic break. It was the first of six tuneup days before the Bruins resume play on Wednesday against Buffalo. Even professionals need such an ease-in to NHL ferocity when 18 days separate the game against the Sabres and the 7-2 thumping of the Senators on Feb. 8.