PHILADELPHIA – Jeremy Swayman made 40 saves in an NHL debut to remember, as the Boston Bruins edged the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Tuesday night.
The 22-year-old Swayman was called up Monday and became the fourth goalkeeper to play for the Bruins this season. While Boston may have high hopes for the former fourth-round pick, the Bruins probably weren’t expecting this on short notice. His presence was needed after Jaroslav Halak tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
“What an incredible experience,” Swayman said. “Getting a win here in Philadelphia means everything.”
The Flyers tested Swayman with 25 shots in the second period, including a Scott Laughton breakaway that he calmly stopped. Swayman, a Hobey Baker finalist last season for best college hockey player at the University of Maine, had to make only four saves in the third period.
“He deserved a lot better support than we gave him,” said coach Bruce Cassidy, “and he finally got it in the third.”
After his junior season with the Black Bears ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he chose to skip his final season and sign a three-year entry-level contract with the Bruins. The organization sees it, along with Dan Vladar, who is also active on the Bruins roster because Tuukka Rask is still offside with an undisclosed upper body injury, as the team’s future at the net. Vladar made 29 saves for the Bruins against the Flyers on Monday.
“It’s a game. And it’s a game that I love,” Swayman said. “And I enjoyed every second.”
In his final season with the Black Bears, Swayman was 18-10-5 with an average of 2.07 goals against and a .939 save percentage. He led Maine to an 18-11-5 finish, good for fourth place at Hockey East.
Swayman’s effort took a starter or two away from Patrice Bergeron, who posted a hat trick and reached 900 career points in victory. Brad Marchand added a goal with no hands as the Bruins won for the second time in three games. Bergeron’s final account was on an empty net.
Jakub Voracek and Shayne Gostisbehere scored for the Flyers, and teammate Carter Hart, who has been ineffective for more than a month, did not come off his losing streak in goal, being outscored by Swayman on the other side.
“It’s a tough loss,” said Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, “but there are still a lot of points left.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.