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Talking Points: Swayman Shines; Bruins Sweep NY Trip

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Here are the Talking Points from a 3-1 win for the Boston Bruins over the New York Rangers Thursday to extend their win streak to four games.

GOLD STAR: The New York Rangers hadn’t played since beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Monday night and were sitting home waiting for the Boston Bruins Wednesday night as the Bruins earned a gritty 4-1 win on Long Island against the New York Islanders. That definitely showed through intervals of the first and second period, and down the stretch in the third period as the Bruins held on for the win. They don’t even come close to winning, let alone have a 3-0 lead in the third period if not for goalie Jeremy Swayman, who is now back to being a legit 1B goalie, 1A on most NHL teams. Swayman finished the game with 31 saves and was especially clutch at the end of the first period and throughout the second. The Bruins fed off his performance, especially during the penalty kill, including a 5-on-3 late in the first period. Swayman is 6-0-2 with a .941 save percentage in his last eight games.

BLACK EYE: Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo blocked a one-timer 4:59 into the second period and left the game with what the Bruins later termed was an upper-body injury. The team tweeted at the beginning of the third period that Carlo was ‘unlikely to return’ and he didn’t. Thankfully, heading into this game, Carlo had only missed four games thus far with an upper-body injury earlier in the season.

TURNING POINT: Connor Clifton’s goal 28 ticks into the the third period proved to be the backbreaker. After Swayman stoned chance after chance down the stretch of the second period and during a penalty kill of a Connor Clifton Delay of Game infraction in the final 1:43 of the second period, Clifton came flying out of the box and into a 2-on-1 with Brad Marchand. Clifton buried a beautiful feed from Marchand 28 seconds into the final frame to make it 3-0 and seemingly crushed the Rangers’ collective spirit.

Note: One could definitely argue that Swayman’s saves on that kill and others, and throughout the game were turning points as well.

HONORABLE MENTION: Did you expect anything less from Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron? Arguably one of the toughest players in the NHL and of his generation, Bergeron, as expected, suited up for Thursday’s game at MSG less than 24 hours after seemingly breaking his nose again in the 4-1 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night on Long Island. In grand Bergeron fashion though, not only did he play injured, he factored into the scoring as well. Bergeron took a beautiful feed 4:42 into the second period to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. He finished the game with a goal, ? in ? and ?.

 

BY THE NUMBERS: 23-0-2 – The record for the Boston Bruins when they score the first goal of the game this season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think we just stay in the moment. It’s special to have a team like this. We don’t get too high, we don’t get too low, and embrace challenges. So we’re gonna feel good for five minutes and move on. We want that next challenge and we’re ready for it.” – Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman on how he and his teammates were able to win back-to-back games against the Islanders and Rangers.

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