Pregame quick hits

BOSTON – There’s no time for anymore excuses for the Boston Bruins.

The New York Rangers are in town for today’s matinee at the Garden, and suddenly there’s an all-out battle for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Entering today’s game, the Bruins have 74 points, the Atlanta Thrashers are one point back with 73 and the Rangers have 71.

After today’s game the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Bruins. They will travel to Atlanta to face the Thrashers on Tuesday, so a victory against the Rangers is imperative.

Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked this morning if his team is healthy and free from the flu bug that made its way around the locker room this week.

“We’re fighting for our lives here, and fighting to be in the playoffs,” said Julien. “You have to rely on everybody to step up and to their job – it’s as simple as that.”

Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who missed practice on Saturday for precautionary reasons due to a bout of intestinal turmoil, is playing today.

Today is the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two teams, and for Julien, the previous matchups don’t mean a thing because it’s all about gaining two points this afternoon.

“We can talk about [previous games], but the thing is really about today and show up and not worry about what has happened in the past against them,” Julien said. “The win is all we should be talking about right now. I’m sure the other team is thinking the same way.”