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NHL 2013-14: Recharged Bruins poised for another Stanley Cup run after coming close in finals

The Boston Bruins were less than two minutes away from forcing a seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals. Now they must wait nearly seven months until the next postseason.

With the core of their team returning, the Bruins should reach the playoffs for the seventh straight season. And they took steps to secure their long-term future by signing center Patrice Bergeron and goalie Tuukka Rask to eight-year contracts and general manager Peter Chiarelli to a four-year extension.

Last season, the Bruins came close to their second championship in three years. They led Chicago 2-1 in Game 6 then allowed two goals in the last 76 seconds and the Blackhawks won 3-2 to take the Cup.

The Bruins open the season Oct. 3 at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning.