Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk smiles as he hoists the Beanpot trophy after his game-winning goal against Northeastern during overtime of the college hockey Beanpot Tournament's championship game in Boston, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. Boston University defeated Northeastern 4-3. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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Bruins sign Grzelcyk (who just so happens to be pals with Jimmy Vesey)

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The Bruins announced today that they’d signed Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to a two-year entry-level contract. The deal will start next season. In the meantime, the Charlestown native will join AHL Providence on an amateur tryout agreement.

Grzelcyk was a third-round pick of Boston’s in 2012. After spending four years at BU, if he didn’t sign with the Bruins, he could’ve become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15, a la Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey.

Speaking of whom, Grzelcyk and Vesey are childhood pals, so this — despite the protests of some –will only add to the speculation that Vesey will choose to sign with the B’s this summer.

Toronto is the other team that’s been linked to Vesey.

Related: Vesey will reportedly sign with the B’s

Bruins will be without Seidenberg and Connolly in St. Louis and Chicago

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning
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From CSN New England, with an update on the banged-up B’s:

The Bruins got a couple of bodies back on Thursday with Ryan Spooner and David Krejci both returning to practice prior to leaving for their two-game Western Conference trip through St. Louis (Friday) and Chicago (Sunday). 

Claude Julien said following practice that Dennis Seidenberg and Brett Connolly, who didn’t practice, won’t be traveling with the team due to their injuries and will miss the next two games against the Blues and Blackhawks. Austin Czarnik was returned to the Providence Bruins following practice and Seth Griffith will join the team with injuries beginning to gnaw away at their forward depth. 

Oh, and John-Michael Liles is also expected to return tomorrow against the Blues. He and Spooner missed Tuesday’s 2-1 loss in New Jersey.

It’s a hugely important trip for the Bruins, who still haven’t locked down a playoff spot and have dropped six of their last seven in regulation. Currently, they’re just one point up on the Red Wings, with both teams having five games remaining, including one against each other a week from today.

The B’s finish the season with three straight at home: Tuesday versus Carolina, Thursday versus Detroit, and Saturday versus Ottawa.

Flyers ‘win’ big with tough losses for Red Wings, Bruins

A shot by New Jersey Devils center Reid Boucher enters the net of Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask for a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 2-1. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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When it comes to the East playoff races, the biggest winners were generally the teams that didn’t even play. Otherwise, Tuesday stands as an evening of spoilers.

(Heck, the Pittsburgh Penguins almost fell to this pattern as well, but they managed to gut out a shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres.)

Wildly frustrating

The Philadelphia Flyers have to be smiling tonight.

For one thing, the Boston Bruins dropped their sixth of seven games as the New Jersey Devils defeated them 2-1 in regulation. The Bruins had to be gritting their teeth during an unlikely standout game by Keith Kinkaid, as Boston lost despite a 40-15 shot advantage.

The Montreal Canadiens did the Flyers a solid, too, narrowly edging the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 (also in regulation).

Detroit nearly rallied after Petr Mrazek was given an early hook when Montreal went up 2-0, but it wasn’t to be.

At least it appears as though Dylan Larkin avoided injury:

The New York Islanders won to strengthen their hold over the top wild card spot, so here’s a glance at how the races for the East’s final wild card spot and the Atlantic’s third seed look right now.

Third in Atlantic: Bruins – 88 points, 36 ROW, five games remaining

Second Wild Card: Flyers – 87 points, 35 ROW, 7 GR

Behind in Wild Card and Atlantic: Red Wings – 87 points, 36 ROW, 5 GR

As you can see, things are suddenly looking extremely promising for the Flyers while the Red Wings and Bruins remain very close.

Another idle team smiles

Nazem Kadri‘s hot streak scorched the Florida Panthers on Tuesday as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Cats 5-2.

With that, the Tampa Bay Lightning benefit, as they’re technically the top team in the Atlantic as of tonight.

1. Atlantic: Tampa Bay – 93 points, 41 ROW, 6 GR
2. Atlantic: Florida – 93 points, 35 ROW, 6 GR

The Lightning have to hope that they break the spoiler cycle, as their next opponent is the Montreal Canadiens.

Long story short … it was a good night to watch the games, and not just for fans.

Bruins sign college prospects Rob O’Gara, Sean Kuraly

Yale's Rob O'Gara (4) clears the puck after colliding with Quinnipiac's Matthew Peca (20) during the first period of the NCAA Frozen Four men's college hockey national championship game in Pittsburgh Saturday, April 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)
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The college signings continue with two moves by the Boston Bruins, in both cases with fifth-rounders from the 2011 NHL Draft.

In Tuesday’s case, they signed defenseman Rob O’Gara (pictured in his Yale sweater) and forward Sean Kuraly (who played for Miami of Ohio). The Bruins selected O’Gara with the 151st pick in 2011 while the Sharks initially drafted Kuraly 133rd of that same year and round.

“We are excited to have Rob O’Gara and Sean Kuraly join the Bruins organization,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said. “They were outstanding college players and both young men have tremendous character and leadership qualities.”

Stanley Cup of Chowder pegs this as a move that should bolster the Bruins’ AHL roster.

These signings along with Brandon Carlo coming from the WHL will bolster an already-strong P-Bruins roster; the team currently sits third in the Atlantic Division, and has three of the league’s top fifteen scorers, including two of the top five in Seth Griffith and Alexander Khokhlachev.

Tonight was a bummer for the Bruins

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For Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, Thursday went from humbling to grumbling.

The Florida Panthers beat his Bruins 4-1 tonight, moving to first place in the Atlantic Division, at least for the time being.

It wasn’t just a loss for the Bruins; it was also a fifth defeat in a row. Add in an injury and a frustrating call or two, and Julien’s franchise wins record is probably not on the tip of many tongues.

The injury

John Michael-Liles suffered a lower-body injury and was unable to return. It’s unclear how bad it might be beyond that.

The insult

A goal review almost left Julien’s face blue:

One other result: some unease among the locals.

Hey, if Julien showed anything in setting a new benchmark for Bruins coaches, it’s that he can roll with the punches. That’s good, because the Panthers landed a few on his kisser this time around.