Boston Bruins

Apr 26, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) and goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) after their win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Career playoff start No. 1 for Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark was certainly better than the numbers indicated when the Bruins skated off on the wrong end of a 5-1 final at PNC Arena.

(Click here to subscribe to the Sports Hub Underground podcast.)

Tagged for four goals on 24 shots, Ullmark’s night included two screened goals against, a two-on-one that left him without a prayer, and a short-side goal that came with the game all but decided. And though Ullmark was certainly more positive than negative throughout the majority of Monday’s loss, is the loss alone enough to get Bruce Cassidy thinking about a change to Jeremy Swayman for Game 2?

“We’ll let you know [Tuesday],” Cassidy said when asked about going back to Ullmark for Game 2. “I’m not faulting our goaltender for this.

“You need the saves at the end when you’re not scoring. Let’s call it what it is. The two-on-one is a great play by them. They executed it. You don’t wanna be in that position, so it’s a great shot. The last goal, would it have mattered? Short side, so he’s gonna tell you it’s not a great goal to give up, but by then it’s 4-1, so we’re not going to put anything on Ullmark.”

To Cassidy’s point, the B’s Game 1 loss is entirely on their offense and its failure to capitalize on the Hurricanes’ Antti Raanta and not Ullmark’s performance. And Ullmark, who finished his season on a 9-1-0 run and with the league’s best save percentage (.945) from Mar. 15 through the end of the regular season, should be afforded the chance to bounce back.

But the shots Ullmark faced in this game are the kind he’ll face for the majority of this series, as Carolina loves to create via net-front traffic and jam away for some ugly goals.

“Whatever goalie is in there for us, you gotta fight to find pucks in this series,” Cassidy acknowledged. “And I thought it was the same at the other end early on. Raanta was fighting to find them and there was rebounds there, but we just didn’t capitalize on them. So it could’ve went the other way if some of those have eyes early on, but they didn’t.

“We’ll have to do a better job in lanes and Linus will have to work harder to find it as well. That’s just the hand he’s gonna be dealt. They got some big bodies that camp themselves out front. So that’s gonna be the challenge for any goalie.”

And the task for Ullmark to respond to that challenge, should he get the call in Game 2, will be a simple one.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about stopping pucks,” Ullmark said. “It doesn’t matter how you do it. And if [Raanta]’s stopping pucks, I obviously have to stop one more than him to win the game, and it’s as easy as that.”

The Bruins will look to even the series at 1-1 on Wednesday night.

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Bruins