BRIGHTON, Mass – The desperate Boston Bruins will be making some changes ahead of Game 3 while down 0-2 in their best-of-seven series against the Carolina Hurricanes, with perhaps the biggest one being between the pipes.
Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy named rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman as the starter for Friday night’s pivotal Game 3 against the Hurricanes on Friday night at TD Garden with the Black and Gold in a must-win situation against the Canes. It’s an interesting scenario for a Boston Bruins team in transition in net, as Swayman starting will be the first guy not named Rask or Thomas to make a home playoff start for the Boston Bruins since Andrew Raycroft way back in 2004.
Did you know..
Jeremy Swayman or Linus Ullmark will be the first Boston Bruins goalie to start a playoff game at the Garden, besides Tuukka Rask or Tim Thomas, since…
Andrew Raycroft – 4/9/2004
22+ years ago
Perspective – Red Sox still hadn’t won a World Series since 1918
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) May 5, 2022
This came a day after Cassidy lamented the inability to get a “timely save” in Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes by a Boston Bruins hockey club that clearly needs a spark.
Ullmark is 0-2-0 with a 4.17 goals against average and .860 save percentage in two losses to the Hurricanes in his first two career postseason appearances, but Cassidy clearly wasn’t throwing the losses at Ullmark’s feet with so many breakdowns happening at both ends of the ice.
“I think Linus [Ullmark] has been fine,” said Cassidy. “As I said after Game 1, I think we’ve got to do a better job at the other end, but if it ends up being one of those 2-1 games, we need a performance where we get that timely save and give the guys some life. That’s where we’re at right now. They’re scoring goals and they’re not giving very many up. There’s a little bit to do with both things.
“I’m not saying Ullmark’s the reason…he’s not. But Swayman is going to be in there. He’ll get his opportunity. We talked about maybe at some point using both, so it’s going to be [Friday night]. Hopefully he’s up for the task.”
Ullmark beat out Swayman for the starting spot to open the playoff series when the Bruins rookie goaltender struggled down the stretch with a 4-5-0 record along with a 3.05 goals against average and .889 save percentage in the month of April. But Swayman has proven up to the task when called upon in big moments in the recent past and has shown more of an ability to stand on his head at times, so perhaps the Boston Bruins will see that out of their 23-year-old goaltender at the most desperate time of the season.
Beyond Swayman going in for Ullmark, Mike Reilly will be inserted into the lineup on the back end as Hampus Lindholm will be out for Game 3 after being on the receiving end of a nasty Andrei Svechnikov hit in the second period of Wednesday’s Game 2 loss.
“He’s a left shot, he’s played a lot of games for us,” said Cassidy. “Right now, that would be the obvious choice to go in. He’s played with Charlie McAvoy, he’s played with [Brandon] Carlo. There shouldn’t be any adjustment period in terms of who he’s playing with. The adjustment period for him will be he’s getting injected into a very intense, physical playoff series. He’s got to be prepared for that type of hockey.”
Swayman, Jesper Froden and Jakub Zboril were the only three Boston Bruins players out on the ice practicing at Warrior Ice Arena on Thursday morning while the rest of the B’s rested and recharged for a pivotal Game 3.