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Stars Hit Beantown For Last Trip To The Northeast This Season

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The Bruins are hanging onto the last Wild Card spot - and they’re feeling the heat.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars’ last road trip of the season stops at TD Garden tonight when they meet the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins are currently in the last Wild Card spot in the standings. Four of their last five games have come against teams in their Division or that they’re fighting off for that last playoff spot. They lost three of them (Dallas fans can relate...)

That, combined with other teams heating up, should have the Bruins’ seat feeling a little warm. Several teams are in positions to take advantage of a skid by Boston:

*The Tampa Bay Lightning, having won 7 of their last 10 games, sit three points back with a game in hand.

*The New York Islanders, stumbling a bit sit four points back with a game in hand.

*The Carolina Hurricanes, hot off a 7-0-3 streak, also sit four points back with a game in hand.

So they’ll be looking for two points versus an opponent already eliminated from the post season. That, of course, sets Dallas up to try to make it hard on the Bruins to make the playoffs by denying them the two points and opening up the door to reduce that gap in the standings. Who wouldn’t want to see a surprise team like Carolina sneak into the playoffs?

Stars fans do have more than that reason to tune in to the matchup, though.

Tomorrow night’s game marks the return of Julius Honka to the Dallas roster. Considering where the team is at now, and the need to evaluate all of the pieces on defense for next season, it would be redundant to recall Honka and not play him.

Guys like Jamie Oleksiak, Greg Pateryn, and Patrik Nemeth haven’t set themselves vastly apart from one another. Stephen Johns struggled in the game versus the Montreal Canadiens.

Is the trio of John Klingberg - Julius Honka - Stephen Johns the right side of the future blueline in Dallas? They’ll never know until they try, and what better time to try than in the last seven games of a lost season?