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Red-Hot Ullmark Gets Back-to-Back Nod For Boston Bruins

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The Boston Bruins will be diverging from their original goaltending plan for the first time this season by giving Linus Ullmark back-to-back starts with the Saturday afternoon matinee against the Minnesota Wild.

It’s a nod partly to Jeremy Swayman’s numbers (5.41 goals against average, .816 save percentage) not exactly being show-stopping to start the year with a rough defensive game in the road loss to Ottawa mainly to blame, but it’s more about the 27-year-old Ullmark starting the year in dominant fashion for the Black and Gold. Ullmark is 3-0-0 with a .938 save percentage and a 2.06 goals against average and is coming off a stellar 30-save effort against the Anaheim Ducks in a 2-1 shootout win at home on Thursday night.

“Goalie Bob said there would be no issues for him being tired from the workload last game and us having an early practice 24 hours before we play,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery of Ullmark, who is in the top-10 for NHL goalies in save percentage at this point. “We get to have two great practices before [Swayman] gets back in net, so I think this is really a better situation [for him].”

There will be changes in the rest of the lineup as well as Craig Smith will be in and Jakub Lauko return’s to the fourth line while Jack Studnicka and AJ Greer will both be coming out of the forward lineup for the Black and Gold. Montgomery said the change on the bottom-6 had a lot to do with the heaviness of the schedule and the challenge of being a consistently effective bottom-6 energy player when NHL teams are in the midst of a busy stretch with four games this week for the Black and Gold.

Here’s the projected Boston Bruins lineup against the Wild on Saturday afternoon:

Zacha-Bergeron-DeBrusk

Hall-Krejci-Pastrnak

Frederic-Coyle-Smith

Foligno-Nosek-Lauko

Lindholm-Grzelcyk

Forbort-Clifton

Reilly-Zboril

Ullmark

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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