A three-game tour of Western Canada got off on the wrong foot for the Bruins on Wednesday night, as the team wasted a gem from Jeremy Swayman on the way to a 2-1 shootout loss to Bruce Boudreau’s Canucks.
In net for his third straight start, the 23-year-old Swayman came up big throughout the night, and was only beaten by a deflection shot on the power play in what finished as a 31-of-32 performance in the Boston crease. Swayman also turned aside all 13 Vancouver shots he faced in the third period, and made three high-quality saves in the five-minute overtime frame.
Jeremy Swayman with the stop against Vasily Podkolzin. pic.twitter.com/rvmyZG7R6l— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 9, 2021
But the offense remained an issue for the Bruins, who scored just one goal in their 65-minute outing, which came on a Patrice Bergeron look during a 5-on-3 for the Black and Gold. The one-goal night marked Boston’s fifth night where the offense maxed out at one goal (or fewer), with Boston’s record in those games dropping down to 0-4-1.
“You just have to stick with it,” Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco said. “Frustration can settle in easily. It’s an issue that we can focus on and want to make sure they stick with it. Good players will find a way to score if they keep putting pucks on net.”
Patrice Bergeron finally gets the Bruins on the board: pic.twitter.com/4lHMolycPW— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) December 9, 2021
The Bruins’ goal scoring issues are nothing new, and this one followed a familiar trend, as it was Boston’s first line that carried the bulk of the offensive anything, with the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak trio accounting for eight of the team’s 25 shots at five-on-five, and 13 of their 46 total shot attempts at five-on-five play.
Those struggles below even forced Sacco to throw his bottom three lines into a blender, with Taylor Hall pulled off his normal second-line left wing post with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith.
The Canucks’ Thatcher Demko made 35 saves for the win, and turned aside both David Pastrnak and Charlie Coyle in the shootout, while J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat both scored for the Canucks in the shootout.
The Bruins will have a quick turnaround with a Thursday night showdown with Connor McDavid and the Oilers.