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Bruins bolster playoff push, acquire Taylor Hall from Sabres

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres' Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres' Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The banged-up Boston Bruins got a boost for their playoff push Monday by acquiring forward Taylor Hall in a trade Monday with the Buffalo Sabres.

The Bruins also added checking line forward Curtis Lazar, who has missed the past six games with an upper body injury. Buffalo acquired fourth-year forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in a deal completed before the NHL’s trade deadline.

As part of the deal, the Sabres agreed to retain half he remainder of Hall’s one-year, $8 million salary. The NHL’s 2018 MVP was deemed expendable by last-place Buffalo, which is already retooling for beyond this season.

“I still believe in myself as a player. I still feel like I can add things to a team. ... That’s what makes me really excited,” Hall said. “I really just want to be part of a winning team. However I can do that, I’m all-in.”

The Bruins have lost two straight following an 8-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday. At 21-12-6, they hold the East Division’s fourth and final playoff spot, and are four points ahead of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

Boston has four players on injured reserve, including forward Ondrej Kase and defenseman Brandon Carlo. In the meantime, defensemen Charlie McAvoy missed his fourth game with an upper body injury, and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is also sidelined.

In a separate trade on Sunday, the Bruins also acquired defenseman Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators for a third-round pick.

The Sabres, by comparison, are in sell-off mode with the team all but assured of matching the NHL playoff drought record of 10 seasons. Buffalo traded defenseman Brandon Montour to Florida on Saturday, and previously traded veteran center Eric Staal to Montreal.