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WILMINGTON — Every one of the Bruins players and coaches has a slightly different version of the team mantra, but the message is the same: Put your head down and keep doing what you’re doing. With nine games remaining in the regular season, the Bruins have clinched a playoff spot (the only team in the Eastern Conference to do so), are a point shy of St. Louis for the overall NHL lead, and they have won 13 of their last 14 games. They are heading into the stretch run to the playoffs at a full gallop.
With a game in Washington Saturday and one in Philadelphia Sunday, the Bruins had a spirited practice at Ristuccia Arena Friday, pushing themselves to keep improving. During small game battle drills, the competition was sharp. One misstep and a player was liable to be down on the ice, doing pushups.