Niklas Svedberg wins NHL debut

Updated: January 3, 2014, 12:28 AM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- The reward for earning his first NHL win? Boston Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg was sent back to Providence of the AHL.

The rookie netminder made 33 saves to help the Bruins to a 3-2 overtime win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at TD Garden, and after the game he was assigned to the P-Bruins. It wasn't a surprise because the organization has been clear that it wants to see Svedberg play at this level, and even coach Claude Julien said the young goalie will be back.

[+] EnlargeNiklas Svedberg
Steve Babineau/NHLI.Getty ImagesNiklas Svedberg earned his first win in his NHL debut on Jan. 2, 2014, though his commemorative puck is mislabeled 2013 above.

"I liked his game tonight," Julien said. "I really thought he was good. He just showed us he's a guy we need to look at, keep an eye on and consider. He's going to head back to Providence, but there's a good chance you're going to see him here again very soon."

Svedberg, who was recalled late last week and served as Tuukka Rask's backup against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night at TD Garden, was originally scheduled to make his debut last Saturday in Ottawa, but due to a last-minute roster change, the Bruins were forced to send him back to Providence and recalled defenseman Zach Trotman after Zdeno Chara was not able to play due to injury.

The Bruins recalled Johnson on Thursday morning, and he finally earned his well-deserved start against the Predators.

"Ever since I started playing this is where I wanted to be, so I'm real happy with this win," Svedberg said. "It's just one game, but it's real fun to get the win in my first game."

Of the two goals he allowed against Nashville, one wasn't his fault. But the other, the game-tying tally at 14:35 of the third, he probably should have stopped. Overall, he showed poise between the pipes, which the Bruins were hoping to see.

He also learned the two preseason games he had played for Boston, or the 70 games he has played for the P-Bruins, can't compare to what he experienced Thursday night.

"It's the NHL so it's a little bit faster with better shooters," he said. "It's only one game so it's tough for me to compare a lot, but obviously it's a step up."

After the game, Svedberg received many "atta boys" from his teammates as defenseman Johnny Boychuk handed him the game puck.

"He played great, real good," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "It's a little nervous playing your first NHL game, but you can see he made some big saves for us and was pretty confident in net. We talked about it and we wanted to play hard for him and get him a big win on his first NHL game."

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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