Coach Bruce Cassidy will start Jeremy Swayman in goal when the Bruins engage the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night at TD Garden.
Cassidy made the announcement during a press briefing on Thursday morning at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. Cassidy gave the players the day off to recuperate from Thursday night’s grinding penalty plagued 5-2 loss to the Canes at PNC Arena.
The Hurricanes are up 2-0 in the best-of-seven opening-round Stanley Cup playoff series and have outscored the Bruins 10-3 with two empty-net goals. Bruins’ goalie Linus Ullmark played great down the stretch in the regular season and was awarded top billing over Swayman in the first two games of the playoffs.
Ullmark registered a 4.17 goals against average and an .860 save percentage while facing 57 shots on goal in the two losses. Swayman’s last win was at Montreal on April 24 and he will be making his second career start in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Swayman will go,” said Cassidy. “Right now, I think Linus has been fine and like I said after Game 1 I think we have to do a better job at the other end.
“But if it ends up being one of those 2-1 games where we need a performance where we get that timely save and give the guys some life. That’s where we are at right now, they are scoring goals and they are not giving very many up.
“It has to do a little bit at both ends. It’s not on Linus. I’m not saying Ullmark’s the reason, he’s not. But Swayman is going to be in there and he’ll get his opportunity and we’ve talked about using them both.”
Carolina coach Rob Brind’Amour was compelled to change goaltenders at 7:47 of the first period on Thursday night. Canes’ starter Antti Raanta left the ice with a mouth injury after being run by Bruins right wing David Pastrnak. He was replaced by Pyotr Kochetkov, who finished with 30 saves.
Cassidy said that defenseman Mike Reilly will replace injured Hampus Lindholm but had not finalized his blue-line pairings for Game 3.
Lindholm was on the business end of a brutal collision with Carolina right wing Andrei Svechnikov along the end boards in the Boston end at 17:11 of the second. Svechnikov lined up Lindholm, made initial contact in the upper chest and caught him under the chin.
Boston Bruins’ Hampus Lindholm (27) is helped from the ice by Jake DeBrusk (74) and Taylor Hall (71) as Carolina Hurricanes’ Jordan Staal (11) watches during the second period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
The secondary hit is what caused Lindholm to appear woozy and needing assistance to exit the sheet. Despite the severity of the contact to the head, Svechnikov caught two minutes in the cooler for roughing.
“He (Lindholm) traveled back but he’s not available and we will go from there,” said Cassidy. “We have got Mike Reilly who’s a left shot and he’s played a lot of games for us so right now he is the obvious choice to go in.
“He’s played with Charlie McAvoy and he’s played with (Brandon) Carlo so it shouldn’t be any adjustment period for him in terms of who he is playing with. The adjustment is being injected into a very intense physical playoff series and he has to be prepared for that.”
The Bruins’ 12 minor penalties put intense pressure on the undermanned back end. McAvoy logged 28:32 of ice time with 6:12 short-handed while Matt Grzelcyk had 21:32 and 3:39 on the PK.
Carlo logged 16:11 of ice time with 4:36 on the penalty kill. Connor Clifton moved into Lindholm’s slot on Carlo’s left flank and logged 15:54 of ice time with 4:45 in short-handed situations. Derek Forbort logged 15:33 with 5:03 short-handed despite spending six minutes in the box for holding and a double-minor for high sticking. Lindholm was on the ice for 13:58 before his encounter with Svechnikov.
The Bruins got off to good starts and created scoring opportunities they couldn’t finish in the two games in Raleigh.
The Hurricanes were able to (pardon the pun) weather the early storms and ended up scoring first in both games. Cassidy recognized the need for the Bruins to start strong and get an early lead while staying out of the box.
“We are a good team with the lead just like they are so it helps everyone feel a little better about themselves and a little lighter on the stick,” said Cassidy.
“I think our first 10 minutes of both games have been good and we put ourselves in a position to do that (score first). We are ready to play when the puck drops but we just haven’t continued to do it for 60 minutes and then they get back to their game.
“There have been discipline issues of being in the box half the night and those are things we have to correct along the way. But I like our starts and we have to use that to our advantage and go from there.”
Not so fine
The NHL Department of Player Safety fined Bruins left wing Brad Marchand $5,000 for his retaliatory slash on Kochetkov in the second period. Forbort was fined $5,000 for high sticking Teuvo Teravainen in the third.