Linus Ullmark is Bruins’ Game 2 starter vs. Maple Leafs


Linus Ullmark won six of his last nine regular-season starts, posting a .935 save percentage over that stretch.

Boston Bruins' Linus Ullmark plays during an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 23, 2024, in Philadelphia.
Linus Ullmark will get the nod in net for Game 2. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Bruins’ goalie rotation remains in effect.

For the 27th straight game, the Bruins are swapping out their starting netminder — with Linus Ullmark getting the nod for Game 2 of Boston’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ullmark’s start ends days of debate as to how Jim Montgomery and the Bruins were going to handle their goalie plans after winning Game 1 on Saturday night.

The natural move for Montgomery was keeping the team’s tried-and-true goalie rotation rolling and starting Ullmark in Game 2. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner closed out the regular season on a high note — going 6-3-0 with a .935 save percentage since the trade deadline.

But Swayman’s stellar play in Game 1 on Saturday understandably gave his head coach pause when it comes to turning to Ullmark. Swayman stopped 35 of the 36 shots that came his way on Saturday en route to Boston’s 5-1 victory.

Even though Swayman labored at times in the second half (.903 save percentage over his last 17 regular-season games), the 25-year-old goalie has thrived against Toronto. Swayman has won his last five starts against Toronto dating back to last season, sporting a .963 save percentage over that extended stretch.

“It’s going to be hard to go away from Sway. He played a terrific game,” Montgomery said on Saturday night. “But if we decide to go with Ullmark we’re comfortable with it and our team is comfortable with it. It doesn’t affect us in the room, whoever starts next game.”

Ullmark only played one game against the Maple Leafs during the 2023-24 regular season, stopping 37 of 40 shots in Boston’s 4-3 overtime win in Toronto on Dec. 2.

Even though the Bruins could have opted to stick with the hot hand by playing Swayman again, Montgomery’s lineup call on Monday falls in line with the formula that the team rolled out for the majority of the regular season.

“We’ve leaned on it all year,” Jake DeBrusk said of Boston’s goalie rotation on Monday morning. “I think since last season as well with those two guys. I think it’s one of those things where we’re confident in both guys. I think both guys have stolen lots of games for us this year.

“I think it’s intimidating as another team, you know you got two starting goaltenders. For us, it’s just one of those things where we want to play well in front of either of them.”

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