BOSTON – Jeremy Swayman will make his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Boston Bruins against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at TD Garden on Friday.
Boston trails the best-of-7 series 2-0 after a 5-2 loss in Game 2 at Carolina on Wednesday.
“Swayman will go tomorrow,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday. “Right now, I think Linus [Ullmark] has been fine. As I said after Game 1, I think we’ve got to do a better job at the other end, but if it ends up being one of those 2-1 games, we need a performance where we get that timely save to give the guys some life. That’s where we’re at right now. [Carolina is] scoring goals, and they’re not giving very many up. So there’s a little bit to do at both ends. “
Ullmark allowed four goals on 24 shots for Boston in a 5-1 loss in Game 1 on Monday before giving up four goals on 33 shots Wednesday.
“I’m not saying Ullmark is the reason [we’ve lost]. He’s not, “Cassidy said.” Swayman’s going to be in there. He’ll get his opportunity. We’ve talked about maybe at some point probably using both of them, so it’s going to be tomorrow. Hopefully, he’s up for the task. “
Swayman has appeared in one NHL playoff game; he made two saves on three shots in relief of Tuukka Rask in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round last season, a 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders.
[RELATED: Complete Hurricanes vs. Bruins series coverage]
Swayman hasn’t played since April 29, when he made 22 saves in a 5-2 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 23-year-old rookie goalie was 23-14-3 with a 2.41 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 41 games (39 starts) this season, splitting time with Ullmark, who also played 41 games and made 39 starts (26-10-2, 2.45 GAA, .917 save percentage, one shutout).
Hampus Lindholm will not play for the Bruins in Game 3 (7 pm ET; TNT, SN360, TVAS2, BSSO, NESN) because of an undisclosed injury. The defenseman left Game 2 after taking a hit from Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov late in the second period.
“He traveled back (to Boston), but he’s not available tomorrow. We’ll go from there,” Cassidy said. “I do not know [if Game 4 on Sunday is a possibility]. We’ll deal with that and see on Saturday or Friday if we have an update. “
Cassidy said defenseman Mike Reilly could be an option to replace Lindholm. Reilly had 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 70 regular-season games and has four assists in 11 NHL playoff games.
“He’s a left shot. He’s played a lot of games for us, so right now that would be the obvious choice to go in,” Cassidy said. “He’s played with Charlie McAvoy and (Brandon) Carlo. There shouldn’t be any adjustment period for him in terms of who he’s playing with. The adjustment period for him will be being injected into a very physical, intense playoff series. He’s got to be prepared for that type of hockey. “