Jeremy Swayman

Jeremy Swayman’s Boston Bruins teammates eased him back into the world’s best hockey league Saturday in the Anchorage native’s return from nearly three weeks sidelined with a left knee injury.

Swayman, who turns 24 on Thanksgiving Day, enjoyed about as easy a night as possible for a goaltender in the NHL. Boston, the league’s best team, dismantled the visiting Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 to give the Bruins (16-2-0) a league record-tying 11-0-0 start to the season on home ice.

Boston outshot Chicago 43-18.

High-danger chances, as rated by, favored Boston 17-4.

The Bruins mauled the Hawks in Corsi percentage (basically a reflection of possession), 68-9 percent to 31.1.

And in expected goals percentage, according to naturalstattrick, Boston blew up Chicago, 80.9 percent to 19.1.

As longtime Bruins beat writer Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic tweeted after the second period with Boston leading 4-1: “Bantams vs. squirts.”

Talk about a Charmin-soft landing for Swayman.

Swayman stopped 17 shots in his first action since his Nov. 1 injury and his first start since Oct. 27. Swayman was injured by friendly fire in the crease. Boston captain Patrice Bergeron, the future Hall of Famer, collided with Swayman, who tweaked his left knee and went on injured reserve.

Boston outshot Chicago 15-3 in the first period to furnish Swayman a gentle return – none of Chicago’s three shots were rated high-danger bids, according to naturalstattrick.

Swayman, the NHL’s All-Rookie goalie last season, improved to 3-1-0 with a 2.82 goals-against average and .890 save percentage as he begins recovering from a modest start to the season.

His return also brought the return of the postgame goalie hug Swayman and No. 1 Linus Ullmark share after every Bruins win.

Ullmark has merely been the best goalie in the league this season – 12-1-0, 1.89, .937. If Swayman can again deliver the stout work he did last season – 23-14-3, 2.41, .914 – the Bruins will have a tandem that rates among the best in the league.

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