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Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman leads Bruins into San Jose


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While much of the news surrounding the Boston Bruins this month has focused on the retirement of goaltender Tuukka Rask, rookie Jeremy Swayman is quietly bidding to become the team’s No. 1 goalie of the future.

Swayman is set to take the net again on Saturday night at the San Jose Sharks, his fifth start since Rask retired from his 15-year NHL career on Feb. 9.

Swayman is 3-0-1 in his past four starts with 0.98 goals-against average and .968 save percentage, helping the Bruins to a three-game winning streak.

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Swayman and Linus Ullmark rotated starts the first three months of the season before Rask returned from offseason hip surgery in mid-January. Swayman was sent back to Providence of the American Hockey League.

He was soon recalled, however, and made his next start in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, on Feb. 8. That was the same game that forward Brad Marchand was penalized for high sticking and punching Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry, resulting in a six-game suspension.

The following day, Rask announced his retirement.

Swayman had been recalled from the minors numerous times before and said those experiences helped him mentally.

“I’ve definitely learned to adapt and make sure that I’m staying in the moment,” he said. “Making sure the next day is a new day, taking the positives from the day before and forgetting about it, good or bad days.”

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The Sharks are planning to counter with veteran goalie James Reimer, who made 44 saves on Thursday night to help the Sharks end a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win against the visiting New York Islanders.

Reimer has been asked to start the past 10 games because San Jose is considerably thin in goal. Adin Hill has been out with a lower-body injury, and Sharks coach Bob Boughner doesn’t have as much trust in backup Zach Sawchenko as he has in Reimer, who is 2-3-4 in his past nine starts with a .913 save percentage.

The Sharks have been trying to keep Reimer off the ice as much as possible between games, but Boughner said his heavy workload remains worrisome.

“It’s concerning, it really is,” Boughner said. “We were hoping that Adin would be further along at this point.”

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Boughner also expects to start Reimer on Sunday against the visiting Seattle Kraken.

“We don’t want to really face the situation and have him play back-to-back, but we’re fighting for our lives here and that might be the case,” Boughner said. “We’ll see how the game goes on Saturday.”

During its recent seven-game losing streak, San Jose lost four of the games after being tied at the end of regulation, including a 4-3 shootout loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

They didn’t let one get away against the Islanders.

“At this time of year, you’ve just got to find ways to get points,” Boughner said. “Sometimes I think of the Anaheim game (on Tuesday), and I think we played better than we did (Thursday), but that’s the way the game goes. You get a save here or there or you get a bounce here or there.”

–Field Level Media

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