When the Bruins take the ice for an unofficial must-win Game 3 at TD Garden on Friday night, it will be rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman leading the way.
“Swayman will go tomorrow,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed Thursday. “We talked about maybe at some point probably using both [goalies], so it’s going to be tomorrow and hopefully he’s up for the task.”
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The Bruins’ move from Ullmark to Swayman comes with the Bruins down two games to none, and with Ullmark allowing eight goals on 57 shots over that two-game run.
Now, the B’s losses haven’t necessarily been Ullmark’s fault — the B’s inability to manage the puck in the defensive zone or clear out the front of the net have been far greater problems than anything from Ullmark thus far — but Ullmark hasn’t been the proverbial difference maker. And after Game 2, Cassidy threw out the ‘timely save’ line when discussing the Black and Gold’s struggles in the loss.
“Right now, I think Linus has been fine,” Cassidy said. “As I said after Game 1, I think we’ve gotta do a better job at the other end, but if it ends up being one of those 2-1 games, we may need a performance where we get that timely save and give the guys some life. That’s where we’re at right now.
“They’re scoring goals and they’re not giving very many up, so there’s a little bit to do at both ends. I’m not saying, ‘Well Ullmark is the reason.’ He’s not. But Swayman is gonna be in there and he’ll get his opportunity.”
This will be the first playoff start of the 23-year-old Swayman’s career. This will also make Swayman the first Bruins rookie netminder to start a playoff game since Tuukka Rask in 2010.