The Bruins are off to a 12-1-2 start a year after making NHL history under first-year coach Jim Montgomery. Now in Year 2, Boston is putting up strikingly similar numbers to the 2022-23 campaign. A large part of that success can be credited to the goalie tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.

The duo picked up right where it left off last season and have bailed the Bruins out at times when they needed it. For Montgomery, he believes the reason the Bruins are off to such a hot start is because of who they have between the pipes.

“The singular reason why we have the record we have is because of our goaltenders. We’re still giving up way too much. Even (Tuesday) in the last 30 minutes, we gave up way too much off the rush,” Montgomery said after Boston’s 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. “And that’s an area that we significantly have to improve. They’re hiding — or masking — how poor we are right now at defending the rush.”

Ullmark got the start Tuesday and arguably his best play was one that won’t show up on the stat sheet. The Sabres were rushing into the Bruins’ zone when Ullmark had a great read of the situation, came out of his net and poke-checked the puck away to help give Brandon Carlo his first goal of the season.

In eight starts, Ullmark is 6-1-1 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. Swayman is 6-0-1 with a 1.69 GAA and .944 save percentage. It’s a good problem to have for the Bruins, but it would certainly benefit them from if they were more physical in the defensive zone.

The Bruins have a few days off before playing Saturday at home against the Montreal Canadiens.


SABRES: The Buffalo Sabres will be without Tage Thompson for a month if not longer after their top center had a shot go off his left wrist.

Coach Don Granato didn’t reveal the exact nature of the injury in providing the update following practice. Thompson was injured a day earlier when he blocked Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy’s shot midway through the second period of a 5-2 loss to the Bruins.

“Less than a couple of months is what’s expected,” Granato said. “It’s more week-to-week. I don’t have a targeted date for him yet.”

Thompson entered the game tied for second on the team with six goals and 12 points. He has topped 37 goals in each of the past two seasons, and he is coming off a year in which he posted career-best numbers with 47 goals and 94 points.

The Sabres (7-8-1) have lost two straight and open a three-game trip at Winnipeg on Friday night.

ARREST: A man who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in the death of American ice hockey player Adam Johnson, whose neck was cut by a skate during a game, was released on bail.


Johnson, 29, was playing for the Nottingham Panthers against the Sheffield Steelers on Oct. 28 when he was struck by an opponent’s skate blade in the Elite Ice Hockey League game at Sheffield’s home arena in central England.

A post-mortem examination confirmed he died as a result of a fatal neck injury, police said.

South Yorkshire Police did not name the suspect or provide his age. He was arrested on Tuesday, and released on bail on Wednesday pending further inquiries.

Matt Petgrave, 31, who plays for Sheffield, was the other player involved in the grisly incident that reverberated around the hockey community and led to moments of silence in the NHL.

Video of the incident shows Johnson skating with the puck toward the Steelers’ net. Petgrave skates toward Johnson and collides with another Panthers player. Petgrave’s left skate kicks up as he begins to fall and the blade hits Johnson in the neck.

Both players land on the ice. Petgrave immediately got to his feet. Johnson rose more slowly and as he is helped off the ice, his jersey covered in blood. He later died at a local hospital.


Stephen Halloran, a criminal defense solicitor and managing director at Lawtons Solicitors in London, said manslaughter investigations are “not straightforward” and can be committed in several different ways in England and Wales. They can range from an offense that is not far from being an accident through to one that falls just short of murder.

He said that in this case police are potentially looking at involuntary manslaughter.

Halloran said that involuntary or unlawful act manslaughter is “when an unlawful killing has taken place but there was no intention to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm.”

In the case of voluntary manslaughter, all the elements for murder are present, including an intention to kill or cause serious harm, but the crime has been reduced to manslaughter by reason of loss of control or diminished responsibility due to a recognized mental condition.

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