Jeremy Swayman (1-0-0, 2.01 goals-against average, .952 save percentage in one game played) made 40 saves on 42 shots against in his National Hockey League debut, while Patrice Bergeron surpassed 900 career points with a hat trick in a, 4-2, victory for the Boston Bruins against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.
Swayman went 8-1-0 in nine games played for the Providence Bruins (AHL) this season with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage in that span prior to being called up on Monday due to Boston’s starting and backup goaltenders being out of the lineup.
He made his NHL debut nine games after Dan Vladar made his NHL debut in net for Boston in a, 2-1, win at Pittsburgh on March 16th.
The last time the Bruins had two rookie goaltenders play at least one game was in 2016-17, when Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre suited up in one and eight games, respectively, that season.
The last two Bruins goalies to make their NHL debut in the same season was back in 2005-06, when Hannu Toivonen and Jordan Sigalet did just that.
Bergeron, in the meantime, became the fourth Bruin in franchise history to record at least 900 points with the club, joining Ray Bourque (1,506 points with Boston), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012) as the only players to do so in the spoked-B.
Philadelphia goaltender, Carter Hart (8-10-4, 3.88 goals-against average, .871 save percentage in 24 games played) stopped 22 out of 25 shots faced for an .880 save percentage in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 20-10-6 (46 points) overall and remained in command of 4th place in the MassMutual East Division, while separating themselves a bit from the now 18-15-5 Flyers (41 points) who remain 5th in the division.
Boston also improved to 6-0-1 against Philadelphia this season.
The Bruins were without Ondrej Kase (upper body), Tuukka Rask (upper body), John Moore (hip), Brandon Carlo (upper body), Charlie McAvoy (upper body) and Jaroslav Halak (COVID protocol) on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Kevan Miller returned after missing his 20th game this season due to a nagging lower body injury that he re-aggravated on Feb. 18th against the New Jersey Devils.
With Miller back and McAvoy out of the lineup as a late scratch due to injury, B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, jumbled his lineup a bit.
Karson Kuhlman moved up to the right side of the third line, while Chris Wagner rejoined the lineup in his usual role as the fourth line right wing as Zach Senyshyn served as a healthy scratch.
On defense, Matt Grzelcyk suited up alongside Miller on the first pairing, while Jeremy Lauzon and Connor Clifton rounded out the top-four.
Jakub Zboril was partnered with Steven Kampfer on the third defensive pairing.
With Rask and Halak out, Vladar served as Swayman’s backup goaltender, while Anders Bjork, Senyshyn, Carlo, Moore, Kase, Rask, Halak, McAvoy, Anton Blidh and Jarred Tinordi made up Boston’s long list of healthy scratches, taxi squad members and injured players.
Almost midway through the opening frame, Bergeron (13) corralled a rebound and wrapped the puck around Hart’s outstretched leg to give the Bruins the game’s first goal.
Craig Smith (11) and Brad Marchand (25) tallied the assists and the B’s led, 1-0, at 7:09 of the first period.
With his first goal of the night, Bergeron reached the 900-point plateau in his career. By the end of the night, he had 367-535–902 totals in 1,125 career games (all with Boston).
Midway through the first period, Grzelcyk was penalized for hooking James van Riemsdyk, but Philly wasn’t able to muster anything on their first power play of the night at 10:15.
Moments later, the Bruins went on the power play after Nicolas Aube-Kubel was called for holding against David Krejci at 16:38.
The Bruins made quick work of their first skater advantage of the game, working the puck around the zone from Marchand to David Pastrnak to Bergeron (14) for one of his standard catch and release power-play goals from the bumper– giving Boston a two-goal lead in the process.
Pastrnak (16) and Marchand (26) had the assists on Bergeron’s second goal of the night at 17:31 of the first period.
Entering the first intermission, Boston led, 2-0, on the scoreboard, despite trailing Philadelphia, 13-11, in shots on goal.
The B’s held the advantage in blocked shots (7-5) and hits (11-7), while Philly led in takeaways (2-0), giveaways (4-3) and faceoff win percentage (52-48) after one period of play.
The Flyers were 0/1 and the Bruins were 1/1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
Jakub Voracek (6) redirected a shot pass from Travis Konecny past Swayman from the edge of the crease to cut Boston’s lead in half and put Philadelphia on the scoreboard, 2-1.
Konecny (17) had the only assist in the goal at 1:33 of the second period.
Philly tied things up, 2-2, with a pair of goals in a span of 2:30 thanks to Shayne Gostisbehere’s (6) catch and release shot over Swayman at 4:03.
Voracek (25) and Ivan Provorov (15) tallied the assists on Gostisbehere’s goal.
Midway through the middle frame, Trent Frederic cut a rut to the penalty box for roughing at 11:14, but the Flyers weren’t able to take advantage of the ensuing skater advantage.
Through 40 minutes of action on Tuesday night, the Bruins and Flyers were tied, 2-2, despite Philadelphia outshooting Boston, 38-18, in shots on goal, including a, 25-7, advantage in the second period alone.
Philly also held the advantage in giveaways (9-5) and faceoff win% (57-44), while the B’s led in hits (17-15) after two periods.
Both teams had 14 blocked shots and four takeaways each, while Philadelphia was 0/2 and Boston was 1/1 on the power play heading into the final frame.
Miller tripped Nolan Patrick at 7:25 of the third period and presented the Flyers with another power play.
This time, however, Boston’s penalty kill turned the tables on Philadelphia when Lauzon sprung out of his own zone with the puck, generated a 2-on-1 in the attacking zone and sent a pass to Marchand (18) for the extra drag before sliding the puck through Hart’s five-hole.
It was the sixth shorthanded goal for the Bruins this season and the 29th of Marchand’s career, while Lauzon (4) and Clifton (5) tabbed the assists as Boston pulled ahead, 3-2, at 8:21.
It was also Marchand’s 48th career shorthanded point, which broke a tie with Eddie Westfall and Bobby Orr for the most in Bruins history.
About a minute later, Konecny slashed Miller, who delivered a swift cross check in return and the two players drew minor infractions at 9:59.
The two teams skated 4-on-4 for two minutes before returning to regular even strength action.
Moments later, Samuel Morin roughed Frederic along the wall and was sent to the sin bin at 13:12, but Boston’s power play unit was unable to convert on the skater advanatage.
With 1:57 remaining in the game, Flyers head coach, Alain Vigneault, pulled Hart for an extra attacker and used his only timeout to draw up a strategy for Philadelphia to tie the game once more.
Instead, Bergeron (15) scored an empty net goal– completing the hat trick with his third goal of the game in the process.
Marchand (27) and Wagner (3) had the assists as the Bruins extended their lead, 4-2, at 19:37 on Bergeron’s sixth career hat trick and first since a, 7-4, victory at the New York Rangers on Oct. 27, 2019.
Bergeron tied Adam Oates, Herb Cain, Dit Clapper, Wayne Cashman and Barry Pederson for the ninth most hat tricks while in a Bruins uniform in franchise history.
At the final horn, Swayman made the most saves (40) by a B’s netminder in his first start since Bernie Parent had 44 saves in his NHL debut with Boston in 1965, as he and the Bruins downed the Flyers, 4-2.
Boston finished the night with the advantage in blocked shots (19-16) and hits (31-19), though they trailed Philadelphia in shots on goal (42-26), giveaways (11-8) and faceoff win% (57-44).
The Flyers finished Tuesday’s action 0/3 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1/2.
Boston improved to 13-3-3 (7-3-1 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal this season, as well as 10-0-2 (5-0-1 on the road) when leading after the first period and 5-4-3 (5-3-2 on the road) when tied after two periods in 2020-21.
Philadelphia, in the meantime, fell to 6-11-2 (2-6-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal this season, 8-2-1 (5-2-1 at home) when trailing after the first period and 6-3-2 (2-2-2 at home) when tied after two periods this season.
The Bruins continue their three-game road trip (1-0-0) with a stop in Washington, D.C. against the Capitals on Thursday prior to returning to Philadelphia for a matchup with the Flyers on Saturday afternoon. Boston returns home next Sunday to host the Capitals to kick off a five-game homestand on April 11th.