Three former University of Maine hockey players will be involved in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs, which begins Monday.
Four other former Black Bears played on teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
On Monday, goalie Jeremy Swayman’s Boston Bruins open the playoffs at Carolina and center Devin Shore’s Edmonton Oilers will be hosting the Los Angeles Kings. On Tuesday, left winger Ryan Lomberg’s Florida Panthers will entertain the Washington Capitals.
All series are best-of-seven.
Gustav Nyquist’s Columbus Blue Jackets, Ben Hutton’s Las Vegas Golden Knights, Chase Pearson’s Detroit Red Wings and Brady Keeper’s Vancouver Canucks failed to make the playoffs.
Swayman, recent winner of the Bruins’ Seventh Player Award which is chosen by the fans and is given to the team’s unsung hero who exceeded expectations, will be backing up Linus Ullmark.
Ullmark earned the No. 1 job with his play over the last 10 games compared to the fading Swayman. Ullmark had an impressive .946 save percentage in his last 10 outings while Swayman had an underwhelming .877 save percentage down the stretch.
The 23-year-old Swayman finished with a 23-14-3 record, a 2.41 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in what was his rookie season although he played in 10 games a year ago (7-3, 1.50 , .945).
The 27-year-old Lomberg, a left winger, had his best season as an NHLer with nine goals and nine assists in 55 games for the Panthers, who finished with the league’s best regular season record. The hard-nosed Lomberg also had 92 penalty minutes.
Between Calgary and Florida, he has now played 100 NHL games and has 11 goals and 12 assists.
The 27-year-old Shore, who has evolved into a checking-line center and important penalty-killer, had five goals and six assists in 49 games.
Shore has now played in 375 NHL regular season games for four teams and has 49 goals and 77 assists.
Lomberg and Shore have each missed games due to injury this season.
Although Columbus didn’t make the playoffs, the 32-year-old Nyquist had another productive season with 18 goals and 35 assists while playing in all 82 games. He was among NHL leaders in shorthanded goals with four. He had a goal and 10 assists in his last 10 games.
Nyquist, who can play both center or wing, has now played in 652 NHL regular season games for three teams and has 164 goals and 237 assists.
The 29-year-old Hutton became a regular on the blue line for the Golden Knights after signing a free agent contract with them in October. He received a two-year contract extension in March. He had three goals and 10 assists in 58 games and was plus-seven in plus-minus.
A player earns a plus-one if he is on the ice when his team scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal and a minus one if the other team scores one.
Hutton has now played in 437 games for four teams and has 19 goals and 85 assists.
The 24-year-old Pearson had played 97 games over two-plus seasons for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins before this season. He got called up by the Detroit Red Wings and played in three NHL games this season. He didn’t register a point.
He has played in 50 games for Grand Rapids this season and has seven goals and 11 assists.
Keeper broke his leg in training camp and didn’t play for the Canucks this season although he was able to return to the ice and skate in March.
He has played in two NHL games for Florida and is scoreless.