Jeremy Swayman earned his first career NHL shutout Friday. By no means a minor accomplishment.
But it was small potatoes for the Boston Bruins rookie when he puts it into context.
The 22-year-old turned away 25 shots en route to a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders at TD Garden. He’s taken the NHL by storm since getting called up and thrown into action last Tuesday, and Friday was the obvious pinnacle.
But the Isles have felled the Bruins time and time again this season. So, just getting the win was enough for the netminder.
“First and foremost, the win was the most important part of tonight’s game,” Swayman said after the game. “The shutout was the cherry on top.”
Eventually, he relented, admitting that it is, in fact, cool to get a shutout in the NHL.
“I was just super excited to get that accomplishment, I know I’ll remember that one for a long time,” the Maine product continued. “But, again, it couldn’t have been done without the defense I had in front of me and the players up front as well. I’m super happy with that team effort.”
Jaroslav Halak remains on the COVID-19 list, and Tuukka Rask is just coming off a back injury. So, Swayman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s Bruins-Islanders game:
— Taylor Hall scored his second goal in as many games.
Steven Kampfer started a rush from the defensive zone, and hit Hall at the offensive blue line. The winger fed Krejci on a give-and-go, and the pivot feathered a pass back to Hall on the doorstep. He redirected it past Ilya Sorokin to, in just his third game with Boston, match his goal total with Buffalo.
David Pastrnak has been taking notes.
“I didn’t know much about Taylor beside from playing against him,” Pastrnak said. “I think he’s an elite player. Really great to have him, and he’s proving it the last couple games. He’s been unbelievable”
— Another one of the B’s trade deadline acquisitions, Curtis Lazar, kept driving the fourth line.
He was rewarded late in the game, scoring his first goal with Boston by burying the empty-netter.
The fourth line continued to tick Friday in a way it really hadn’t at other points throughout the season. Trent Frederic, once healthy, probably will get an opportunity to play with Lazar, but in the interim, the Sean Kuraly-Lazar-Chris Wagner combo has been working out just fine.
— Mike Reilly bailed the Bruins out of a largely lackluster first period.
New York had much of the offense in the first period, putting a few high-danger chances on Swayman in the opening 20 minutes. But with time winding down in the period, a monster shift from the new defenseman ended with Pastrnak’s first goal in eight games.
— Suddenly, the Bruins don’t look so locked into fourth place.
With the win, the Bruins trail the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the East Division by just three points with a game in hand. They’re four points back of the Islanders and six behind the Washington Capitals with a pair of games in hand on both.
Boston will face the Washington Capitals on Sunday.