Jeremy Swayman leads the way for the Bruins in a courageous win over the Predators
NASHVILLE, TENNESSE – DECEMBER 02: Philip Tomasino # 26 of the Nashville Predators shoots against Jeremy Swayman # 1 of the Boston Bruins during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on December 02, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon / Getty Images)
Led by a 42-save shutout from Jeremy Swayman, the understaffed Bruins rebounded Thursday night – and against a quality opponent – with a 2-0 victory over the Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Called out throughout the night, the 23-year-old Swayman kept rebounds to a minimum, rarely (if ever) swam without a prayer, and appeared to be holding onto his best job for when the Bruins needed it most.
As Charlie Coyle (truly Erik Haula) was whistled for a brutal punishment against Nick Cousins, the Nashville power play, a top-six unit in the NHL, got to work looking for the game that would help. to trigger a potential comeback and sow a seed of doubt in the Shaky Bruins. The Preds’ Matt Duchene had a pair of golden chances during this power play opportunity – the first from a single slap shot to Swayman’s right, and another from the home plate ahead of Swayman – but s ‘is found refused by Black and Gold’s No. 1 in both cases.
A killer by any means in this contest, Swayman made another dazzling save late in the third period, with a slap pass redirect from Roman Josi to Colton Sissons and to Swayman’s net denied by the Boston rookie.
The 42 saves at the end of the night was a new career high for Swayman, as the shutout was the first of his season and his third since joining the NHL at the end of last season. And with the shutout, Swayman became the first goaltender in Bruins history to sign a shutout against the Predators.
On the other end of the ice, the Bruins opened the scoring in this game with a power play from Jake DeBrusk at 14:38 of the first period. The 25-year-old’s fourth goal of the season is the kind of production DeBrusk needs if he is to accelerate his departure from Boston, and what the Bruins will certainly take in attempting to create a bidding war for the winger who has made it known he wants a fresh start with a new organization.
Leading 1-0 after 20 minutes of action, the Bruins doubled their lead just 30 seconds into the second period with a shot from Brandon Carlo (his second of the season) that beat Juuse Saros of Nashville.
Elsewhere, it is perhaps Erik Haula’s most cursed game of the season. On top of that rubbish penalty, which I guess if you’re looking for penalties didn’t get him sitting in the box, the 30-year-old Haula was denied by a crossbar. and a post on two separate occasions, and grabbed a Mark Borowiecki stick in the throat in the third period. The good news: Haula looked solid with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith, and had the main assist on Carlo’s goal.
On the injury side, the Bruins lost Jakub Zboril to a frightening lower body injury. Zboril left the ice without putting any weight on his leg and was quickly knocked out by the Bruins. That means the Bruins have officially moved closer to that roster chaos, as an injury to Zboril would put Connor Clifton back into action and leave Boston without further assistance on deck.
The victory was also interim head coach Joe Sacco’s first victory as head coach of the NHL since April 26, 2013, which returned when Sacco was head coach of the Avalanche.
The Bruins will return to Boston for a Saturday night head-to-head with the Lightning.
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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group or any affiliate. Shout at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.