BOSTON, Mass. – A National Hockey League backup goaltender has the tough job of watching most games on the bench and waiting for his turn in the rotation. Boston Bruins backup goaltender Chad Johnson has made the best of his opportunities this season and Saturday afternoon was no different.
Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly, Torey Krug and Jarome Iginla (twice) notched the five Bruins goals during Saturday afternoon’s, 5-1, win over the Carolina Hurricanes. However, without the outstanding play of Johnson between the pipes, the Bruins may have had a different outcome. Johnson stopped 29-of-30 shots fired by the Hurricanes, surrendering a single goal during the third period.
Johnson came to the B’s rescue multiple times on Saturday afternoon following sloppy play, unnecessary turnovers and the team trying to be too fancy in the defensive zone, especially in the second period. Johnson’s improved confidence, timely glove saves and comfort in net for the Bruins was evident during his second 14th win of the 2013-14 season. He made things look easy.
The 27-year-old, fifth-year pro, improved his season record to 14-3-1 on the season with a 2.15 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 21 games. The Bruins’ backup net minder is undefeated (8-0-0) at the TD Garden this season and holds a overall nine-game unbeaten streak.
“Just the team I think. I don’t know,” said Johnson on being undefeated at the Garden. “I love playing in front of the fans here, even as an opponent in the past I’ve always loved coming here. It’s just that energy, and the fans. It’s exciting to be able to be a part of it, and be on this side of it, and be part of the Bruins. You know I want to come out and work hard and play well for the fans and for the team. You know it’s gone well so far, so just sort of keep it going I guess.”
Boston improved their winning streak to eight games and completed the season sweep of Carolina.
Justin Soderberg is a Northeast Hockey Reporter covering college hockey for Inside Hockey and View from 123. Soderberg additionally contributes to Boston Bruins coverage for Inside Hockey. Follow him on twitter: @JMSoderberg.