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Swayman’s dominance of Maple Leafs finally comes to a halt


The Toronto Maple Leafs finally snapped Jeremy Swayman's win streak against them to keep their season alive in Game 5 on Tuesday.

Winger Matthews Knies beat Swayman two and a half minutes into overtime as the Maple Leafs picked up a narrow 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins

Swayman entered Tuesday's game riding a personal seven-game winning streak against the Maple Leafs, which dated back to last season. He lost in both of his first two career starts against Toronto in 2021-22, but had not been defeated since before Game 5.

There was little more Swayman could have done in Tuesday’s loss, which brought the Maple Leafs to down 3-2 in the series, as he turned aside 31 of 33 shots. He allowed the lone Toronto goal in regulation to Jake McCabe on a point shot that beat him as the Bruins were outshot 11-2 in the opening period. 

Understandably, there was no blame placed on the starting goaltender for the result.

“I’m still pissed off from last night, to be honest," Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said Wednesday. "I don’t understand, and I don’t accept our play. So I’m going to be pissed off until the puck drops tomorrow night”

“They were just better,” captain Brad Marchand told reporters after the loss. “They came and they were willing to leave it all on the line tonight. We needed to be better than we were. It’s that simple. They were prepared to play and start the game, and we weren’t. Unfortunately, we never really kind of got it together throughout the game. 

“It’s on to the next one.”

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The 25-year-old Swayman has been near perfect in the postseason, posting a 3-1 record with a .952 save percentage and a 1.49 goals-against average against the Maple Leafs. The Bruins kept their goalie rotation from the regular season in place for Game 2, when Linus Ullmark stopped 30 of 33 shots, but have stuck with Swayman ever since. 

Swayman, who was selected by the Bruins 111th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft – one pick after the Maple Leafs drafted now-retired goaltender Ian Scott – earned three wins over the Maple Leafs during the regular season this year. He shut down Toronto twice in the span of a week with victories on March 4 and March 7, allowing just one goal in each game.

After opening the first-round series with two wins in his starters, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery went as far as to wonder aloud whether Swayman was in the heads of the Maple Leafs after Max Domi bumped into the Bruins goaltender during a break in Game 3.  

Montgomery has not named a starter prior to any game in the series, but after Tuesday's loss, Swayman appeared to be setting the tone for another start on Thursday in Toronto.

“I think we saw an opportunity that we missed,” Swayman said. “And we’re not going to let that happen again.”

"We all know what’s coming," he added of the team's mindset for Game 6. So, I can’t be more excited.”