SUNRISE, FL – While it’s been Linus Ullmark in net to this point for the Boston Bruins in their first-round playoff series against the Florida Panthers, that may change in the next turn of their postseason match.
Ullmark’s status was up in the air for Game 3 as he battles something that’s nagging at him physically, but he went out and made 28 saves, including 16 in the third period, in the 4-2 win for the B’s over the Panthers at FLA Live Arena. But it makes a lot of sense to go with Jeremy Swayman for Sunday afternoon’s Game 4 in Florida with Ullmark a little banged up, with Swayman having not played in more than a week at this point and with the two days off between Game 4 and Game 5 that could give Boston’s top goaltender a little extra time to heal things up with the B’s up 2-to-1 in the best-of-seven series.
It appears that Ullmark is playing through something that first cropped up in the second-to-last game of the regular season when he left in the third period of the win over Washington a few minutes after getting up slowly following a save against the Capitals.
Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery would not rule it out for Sunday’s Game 4 after many speculated that Swayman was going to play on Friday night, and the FLA Live Arena jumbotron even mistakenly had him in the starting goalie matchup shown in the first period.
“There are thoughts of going with Jeremy [for Game 4],” said Montgomery. “Because 1) Jeremy is excellent and 2) after tomorrow’s game there are three days before the next one. So they have gone to the rink and when they get back, we’ll huddle with goalie Bob [Essensa] and he’ll let me know.
“It all depends on how the guy is playing, who is in the net and where they are mentally and physically. We need to see where Linus is at. We thought he had a good game, and he wasn’t overly taxed [in Game 3] as far as amount of time spent in our end.”
Ullmark has a 2.69 goals against average and .913 save percentage in the three games thus far in the series, even as Florida is going through some goalie issues having pulled Alex Lyon in the Game 3 loss in favor of the more experienced Sergei Bobrovsky.