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Talking Points: Swayman Gets First NHL Shutout, Bruins Beat Isles 3-0

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Boston Bruins rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman continued to impress as he made 25 saves and earned his first career shutout in a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders.

David Pastrnak snapped a seven-game scoreless streak to put the Bruins up 1-0 with 2.8 seconds left in the first period and Taylor Hall scored for a second straight game to pad the lead to 2-0 47 seconds into the second period. New Boston Bruins forward Curtis Lazar got his first goal as a Bruin sealing the win with an empty-netter with 12 seconds left in regulation

With the win, the Boston Bruins completed a two-game sweep of the Islanders and pulled within four points of the second-place Islanders and three points behind the idle third-place Pittsburgh Penguins.

GOLD STAR: Jeremy Swayman. In his fifth start, against one of the best teams in the NHL and with his team looking for two crucial points in the playoff race, the Boston Bruins rookie goalie looked more like the Bruins goalie who got win No. 300 with the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Islanders on Thursday. Rask praised Swayman after that game and on Friday, Swayman more than earned that praise. Swayman stopped Islanders forward Michael Dal Colle on a shorthanded bid early in the first and that essentially set the tone for the evening as the rook would stone the Islanders on four more odd-man rushes and by this humble scribe’s count, seven point-blank chances total for the Islanders. Swayman continues to make a case for being the team’s third goalie in the playoffs and potentially at least the backup if either Rask or Jaro Halak – who remains out with COVID – can’t go.

 

BLACK EYE: Officiating. I always try hard not to criticize the officiating because I truly believe that out of all the four major pro sports in North America (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL), NHL referees easily have the most difficult and thankless jobs! That being said, sometimes you just need to tell it like it is. On Friday, to be blunt, it was brutal both ways. There were missed calls on both teams but there were also some questionable calls as well. Two on the Bruins were both on Boston Bruins forward Sean Kuraly and both plays were very similar to the infamous no-call on the Tom Wilson on Brandon Carlo hit back on March 5. Unlike Wilson then though, Kuraly found himself sitting in the sin-bin with a slashing minor at 15:28 into the first period and then a boarding call 9:55 into the third. More and more, it’s becoming painfully difficult to understand what constitutes a good hit and what’s a penalty.

TURNING POINT: All of Swayman’s 16 saves in the first two periods. As Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy pointed out after the game, the B’s did not start on time in this one. Thankfully Swayman did. His play in the first period clearly set the tempo and also allowed him to get in the Islanders’ heads, who clearly were hesitating on scoring chances later in the game.

 

 

HONORABLE MENTION: Mike Reilly. In his first three games since being acquired by the Boston Bruins from the Ottawa Senators this past Monday at the NHL Trade Deadline, Reilly has proven to be that defenseman the Bruins have needed all season that can get the puck to the net or place it down low to create chances. What he did Friday night was a thing of beauty though. Reilly read the play down low, fed it to Patrice Bergeron, and then pinched. Bergeron found Reilly down at the hashmark and the silky smooth defenseman fed Pastrnak for a one-timer in front with 2.8 ticks left in the first period. As Cassidy said following the win on Thursday, Reilly has been ‘quite the find’.

 

 

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – The number of games Pastrnak, one of the most lethal scorers in the NHL went without a goal. Now if he can get the same number or more for a goal streak.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “He does have some of that Tuukka in him. … Never looks out of control.” – Cassidy on Swayman’s poise and control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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