Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman had himself one heck of a night.
The 22-year-old Swayman made his NHL debut, recorded 40 saves on 42 shots by the Philadelphia Flyers and propelled the Bruins to a 4-2 victory Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center.
“First off, what an incredible experience. To get a win in here Philly means everything, be the first one,” Swayman said during his postgame video conference.
“It’s a game and it’s a game that I love. I enjoyed every second of it. That’s what a lot of the vets told me going into it, especially (Tuukka Rask). He just said, ‘Enjoy it, it’s once in a lifetime,’ so that’s exactly what I did,” Swayman said. “I absolutely love this game and to do it at the biggest stage with the best players in the world, how can you not love doing that? So, it was fun. It was fun.”
Swayman is the fourth goaltender to play for the Bruins this season. He made his way into the starting spot since Jaroslav Halak tested positive for COVID-19 and Tuukka Rask is hurt. Dan Vladar, who made his NHL debut in a win last month, played the first leg of the back-to-back Monday, which prompted the Bruins to give Swayman a look Tuesday.
“Every one of those guys came up to me and congratulated me. That just goes to show what kind of an organization we have,” Swayman said. “At the end of the day, my job is to stop pucks. And that’s what I want to do for the team in order to give them a chance to win and so I know if I do my job they’re going to do theirs and that’s exactly what happened tonight. So, great team win and I’m super happy about it.”
Head coach Bruce Cassidy was excited for Swayman, despite wishing he didn’t face so many shots in his first NHL game.
“… He deserved much better support than we gave him, and he eventually got it in the third,” Cassidy said on a postgame video conference. “I’m happy for him. He got his first NHL win. Certainly earned it. Important game for us. So, good for Sway.”
Swayman, a 2017 fourth-round pick, was 8-1-0 in Providence this season and posted a .933 save percentage with a 1.89 goals against average.
The 42 shots that Swayman faced were the most faced by a Bruins goaltender in his first start since Bernie Parent, who faced 44 in 1965, per the team.
Here are some other takeaways from Tuesday’s Bruins-Flyers game:
— Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand dazzled, too.
Bergeron earned himself a hat trick, including an empty-netter in the final minutes, while Marchand compiled four points on one goal and three assists.
“One’s a captain and one’s the assistant,” Cassidy said of Bergeron and Marchand, respectively. “Tonight they were clearly our two best forwards. (Craig) Smith has done a good job alongside them trying to read off them, feed off them. So, I can’t say enough about them. They obviously were difference-makers tonight and we needed it.”
— Charlie McAvoy was ruled out right before puck drop due to an upper-body injury, but Cassidy didn’t have much of an update after the game.
“Upper body. Day-to-day,” the Boston bench boss said.
— Kevan Miller made his return for the Bruins after a month and a half absence. Cassidy was thrilled with the way the 33-year-old defenseman stepped back into the lineup, especially with the group missing McAvoy.
“(He did) very well for us,” Cassidy said. “… And then obviously late in the game, third period with a lead, he’s the type of guy that’s going to do the right thing, be in the right spot. I thought he was physical when he needed to be. Just as advertised. So, it was really nice to have him back in the lineup.”
— The Bruins will travel to the Washington Capitals on Thursday.