Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

The Providence Bruins continued their strong play last week, extending their winning streak to three with a pair of victories.

They came from behind to beat Hartford, 4-2, on the road last Tuesday, then led from start to finish in a 4-1 win against Bridgeport in Marlboro on Thursday.

“I thought it was a sharp performance,’’ coach Jay Leach said after the victory over the Sound Tigers. “We dealt with some penalties, both early and late, that we had to really kind of dig in on.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— With  a 7-2 record and 14 points in 9 games, Providence is second in the AHL with a points percentage of .778 as of Sunday evening. The P-Bruins lead Hartford and Bridgeport in the Atlantic Division by 10 points.

— Rookie Sammy Asselin scored a hat trick in Hartford and added an assist against Bridgeport.

— Providence’s goaltending has been second to none from the start. Dan Vladar played well in Hartford and Jeremy Swayman extended his record to 5-0 with the win over Bridgeport. Swayman (.935) and Vladar (.934) are in the top 10 in the AHL in save percentage.

— After setting up a pair of goals against the Wolf Pack, Oskar Steen scored twice against Bridgeport.

— Anton Blidh assisted on both of Steen’s goals. On the first, he pressured Bridgeport goalie C.J. Motte into fumbling the puck, which Steen put in the net. On the second, he fed a perfect pass from behind the goal to Steen, who buried it.

— Robert Lantosi scored a goal and an assist against the Sound Tigers for his first multi-point game of the season.

— Brady Lyle continued to display his hard shot. He fired the puck past Hartford goalie Dylan Garand for his third goal of the season.

— The power play snapped out of a dry spell, going 2 for 5 in Hartford.

— The penalty killers did a nice job against Bridgeport, killing off four third period penalties.

— After being sent down from Boston, Karson Kuhlman scored his first goal of the season against Bridgeport.

— Jakub Lauko scored a decision over Parker Wotherspoon of Bridgeport when they dropped the gloves on Thursday.


— Providence was outshot, 17-5, in the third period against the Wolf Pack.

— The P-Bruins took four penalties and were shorthanded for eight minutes in the third period against Bridgeport.


— Injured: Curtis Hall (week to week, but back on the ice as he recovers from leg injury), Brendan Woods

Quick hits on Blidh-Steen-Carey line, plus Swayman and Lauko

Bridgeport’s Parker Wotherspoon and Providence’s Jakub Lauko dropped the gloves in the third period. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins turned in a sharp performance in beating Bridgeport, 4-1, at Marlboro on Thursday.

They grabbed the lead just 68 seconds in and didn’t look back. Oskar Steen scored twice and Robert Lantosi and Karson Kuhlman added single goals. Jeremy Swayman made 25 saves.

With a 7-2 record and a .778 points percentage, Providence is running away from Hartford and Bridgeport in the North Division.

Here are three quick hits:


Coach Jay Leach was impressed by the line of Anton Blidh, Steen and Paul Carey, which combined on some nifty plays.

“They won pucks and got it inside, protected it well and were able to attack the net. Very, very tenacious on the puck would be what I’d call that line’s game tonight,’’ he said.

After assisting on two goals in Hartford on Monday, Steen potted an early goal after a strong forecheck by Blidh, then scored from a sharp angle in the second period after a pretty setup by Blidh.

“He’s been going all season, it’s been consistent, game in and game out,’’ Leach said of Steen. “His skating game is certainly there. He’s playing in all situations, starting to really learn the faceoff circle. He’s been a consistent positive performer really throughout the season.’’

Leach had a lot of positive things to say about Blidh.

“Coaches aren’t supposed to have favorites, but it’s hard for me not to have a favorite in that guy. He’s consistently hard. Always skating. Always on the puck. Always in front of the net and then obviously a terrific penalty killer.

“Has added an offensive part to his game where he’s able to set guys up like you saw on Steener’s second goal. It was a beautiful play by Blider from behind the net.

“He’s become a leader for us. He’s matured. I’ve known him for five years now and it’s been really fun to watch his maturity and the man he’s grown into. His teammates love him. It’s been a lot of fun to watch.’’

Carey didn’t get on the scoresheet on Thursday, but he leads the team in scoring with 9 points in 9 games.


Providence’s rookie goalie turned in another strong performance. He’s won all five of his starts and his save percentage is up to .935.

He held the fort in the first period when Bridgeport had some good chances and he was good in the third when the P-Bruins were shorthanded for nearly half the period.

“This rink, there’s some odd bounces, things happen really fast here. If you’re not ready early, you’re going to get exposed. I thought we got exposed a couple of times and he was square to every puck, he was in the right spot, found a couple that were screaming in from the point with some screens. He was great,’’ said Leach.

“Obviously, we had to rely on him again in the third with the four penalty kills we had. Again, square to the shooters. I actually missed the goal. I think it was some sort of a tip in front, if I’m not mistaken. He was good all night and he’s been that way every game we’ve seen.’’


Jakub Lauko has displayed his speed, tenacity and scoring touch from the first game of the season.

On Thursday, he dropped his gloves and showed that he can handle himself in a fight.

Despite giving up a couple of inches and about 20 pounds to Parker Wotherspoon of the Sound Tigers, Lauko pounded out a clear decision.

“I just didn’t see it coming. I guess maybe they had some run-ins before that actually occurred,’’ said Leach.

“I knew that he fought a little bit in junior, but he certainly knew what he was doing. It was a great fight. I just was hoping he didn’t get hurt. You never know with those things, especially with guys that don’t fight much.

“It was impressive, and I actually thought he had a pretty good game. He was up and down and skating well. He’s had a really nice start to the season.’’

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

A quarter of the way through this pandemic-shortened season, the Providence Bruins are right where they want to be – in first place in the Atlantic Division.

The P-Bruins split a pair of games in the last few days. They lost to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 3-2, in Marlboro on Thursday, then beat the Hartford Wolf Pack, 4-2, in Connecticut on Saturday.

“I thought we had too many passengers (in the loss to Bridgeport),’’ coach Jay Leach said after Saturday’s win. “Today, everyone was engaged and we’re obviously very excited to have gotten the win. This building can be a really hard place to play and I thought we handled that well today.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Zach Senyshyn continued his strong play. He made a nice play to set up a goal by Brady Lyle against Bridgeport, then scored a goal and added an assist against Hartford. This is his best stretch of games in his four seasons with the P-Bruins. He is leading the team in goals with four and is second in points with seven. Senyshyn is putting himself in good position for a callup if Boston needs a winger.

— Cameron Hughes had two assists in Hartford. His pass to Jakub Lauko for the GWG in the third period was a beauty. He has six points in seven games.

— Jack Ahcan continued his strong play, scoring his first pro goal and earning an assist in Saturday’s victory.

— With two assists on Saturday, Paul Carey now has points in five straight games. He leads the team in scoring with 0-8-8 in seven games.

— With a 5-2 record, 10 points and a .714 points percentage, the P-Bruins lead the Atlantic Division by six points and are tied for fifth in the AHL.

— Anton Blidh scored his first goal of the season with an empty-netter in Hartford.

— Tommy Cross played his game with the team since 2018 on Saturday.

— Alex-Olivier Voyer earned a W in his fight with Felix Bibeau on Thursday.

— With 27 saves against the Wolf Pack, Jeremy Swayman improved his record to 4-0. His save percentage is .929.

— After a dry spell, the P-Bruins’ power-play got back on track with a goal in Hartford.


— Providence led going into the third period against the Sound Tigers, but allowed two power play goals and lost the game.

— Pavel Shen took three stick penalties — high-sticking, slashing, hooking – against Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers tied the game during the third penalty. Shen didn’t see the ice after that and didn’t dress for Saturday’s game.


— Injured: Curtis Hall, Brendan Woods

Three quick hits from Marlboro

The Providence Bruins started strong, but gave up two power play goals in the third period in a 3-2 loss to Bridgeport on Thursday in Marlboro.

The P-Bruins had won three straight against the Sound Tigers, but Bridgeport played with greater urgency than they did in previous meetings.

“Our guys are going to have to learn, and I think they learned today, that if you play the same team over and over again and win, it’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder. Teams just are too good, and these guys are all professionals,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

“The first period went the way we wanted it to go, then in the second and third, (Bridgeport) pushed. We got frustrated. I saw some guys have some lackluster efforts and it just kind of snowballed from there. Certainly something to look back on and hopefully we can learn from it. Not our best.’’

Here are three quick hits:


The 6-foot-5 center is a much-improved player since coming over from Finland at the end of the 2017-18 season.

On Thursday, his 23rd birthday, he scored a goal on a sizzling wrist shot. It was his third goal of the season, tied for the team lead with Zach Senyshyn.

Leach said he’s seen that shot before.

“I remember him scoring a goal when he came over against Lehigh. I distinctly remember it, off the rush. So he’s always had that wrister that he scored tonight, right over the pad, quick release.’’

This season Koppanen has carved out a niche as a third-line center.

“He’s come into his own with regards to how he defends and plays as a centerman and then also with his stick,’’ said Leach.

“Physically, he’s certainly improved with his conditioning, as well as his strength. We’re seeing a developed player who is starting to look like a legit NHL callup, which is exciting.’’


Providence’s lineup on Sunday included four first-year pros on defense. The addition on Thursday of 27-year-old Josiah Didier, who was cleared to play earlier this week, added some needed experience.

“He brought some poise on the breakout a couple of times,’’ said Leach.

“We’ve been very young the last five games and (have had) some moments and even tonight where our young guys got a little overwhelmed by some forechecks and didn’t have that extra half-second of poise that I thought Dids showed tonight. It comes with some experience.”

Jakub Zboril blossomed when playing with Didier last season. Cooper Zech was Didier’s partner against Bridgeport.

“With Dids, what you’re really going to get is a hard, defensive defenseman type of game, which he brings every night. Finishes his checks, blocks a ton of shots. Certainly a leader for us. A guy that brings a lot of others into the fight and a welcome addition for our group.’’


Since going three for seven with the man advantage in a win at Bridgeport on Feb. 13, the P-Bruins have failed to score on 12 straight power plays, including zero for five on Thursday.

The power play stands 12th in the AHL at 20 percent, but has given up three shorthanded goals, the most in the league.

“It goes back to playing the same teams over and over again. Our power play units really haven’t changed much. (Bridgeport is) watching what we’re doing and they had a concerted effort to be aggressive and get on it,’’ said Leach.

“We didn’t respond to that urgency. Our urgency has to come in the way we move the puck. It was slow. It was molasses. We gave up three two on ones, I think, on one power play, all on slow puck movement that they pounced all over, and back down they went.

“The first (power play), if I’m not mistaken, we had a quick win back to the point. We had some poise, we moved it quickly, had a couple of shots. After that it was a real challenge for us to sustain any zone time. It’s certainly something we’re going to have to look at and improve upon if we expect to have success against this team.’’

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

Rookie Nick Wolff has added a physical presence to Providence’s youthful defense corps. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The wins keep on coming for the Providence Bruins.

Combining superb goaltending from Dan Vladar and Jeremy Swayman with timely scoring, they extended their winning streak to three with a pair of wins and are 4-1 on the season.

The P-Bruins edged Bridgeport, 1-0, on Friday and beat Hartford, 5-2, on Sunday. Both games were on the road.

Going back to last season, Providence has won 16 of its last 17 games.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Vladar, now sporting a .957 save percentage, stopped all 24 shots in shutting out the Sound Tigers. Swayman, unbeaten in three starts, was outstanding in kicking out 34 shots against the Wolf Pack. His save percentage is .928.

— Paul Carey assisted on Zach Senyshyn’s GWG in Bridgeport and had two assists in Hartford. He was very good down the stretch against the Wolf Pack as Providence worked to close out the win. While he’s not known as a big hitter, he blew up Hartford’s Patrick Sieloff with a punishing hit. With five points, Carey is tied for the team scoring lead with Jakub Lauko.

— Brady Lyle scored his first goal as a pro in Hartford and it turned out to be the game-winner. He chipped in an assist, too.

— Senyshyn continues his strong start to the season. He sniped the GWG against the Sound Tigers and added an empty-netter in Hartford. He leads the team with three goals and is playing a very solid game in all three zones.

— Oskar Steen had a good game against the Wolf Pack and scored his first goal of the season off a nice pass from Anton Blidh.

— Sammy Asselin chipped in with two assists in Hartford.

— Nick Wolff played his best game so far against Bridgeport, according to Leach. On Sunday, Wolff didn’t hesitate for a second after Hartford’s Mason Geertsen delivered a solid hit on Steen in the first period. He dropped his gloves and went at Geertsen, who is a tough dude.


— Bringing in a player on short notice from the ECHL or elsewhere isn’t really an option this season because of the pandemic, so Providence was able to dress only 17 skaters instead of 18 in Hartford after Jakub Lauko was hurt against Bridgeport. And by the end of the game, after Cameron Hughes and Wolff left with injuries, they were down to 15 skaters.

— Bad is too strong a word to describe the P-Bruins’ power play this weekend, but they did go 0 for 7. Not good might be a more fitting description.


— Both Hughes and Wolff left blood on the ice at the XL Center in Hartford when they were hit in the face by pucks and had to be helped to the dressing room.

— Injured: Jakub Lauko (day to day), Curtis Hall (week to week), Josiah Didier, Brendan Woods

Three quick hits from Hartford

With Jakub Lauko unavailable because of an injury and no other healthy players to plug into the lineup, the Providence Bruins started Sunday’s game in Hartford with only 17 skaters, instead of 18. By the time the game was over they’d lost Cameron Hughes and Nick Wolff, both of whom took a puck to the face.

Even so, Providence posted a solid 5-2 victory over the Wolf Pack.

“It was a gutsy effort. Obviously (Jeremy) Swayman was terrific in net. Had some huge saves in the right moments and then we had some guys that really competed,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

“I thought Sammy Asselin was really good. Paul Carey really led us down the stretch. (Oskar Steen and Anton Blidh) obviously were good. And then on the back end, it was a young D corps against a pretty aggressive forecheck. It got a little hairy at times, but that’s what happens, especially in this building. It’s great to get the win.’’

Here are three quick hits:


Jeremy Swayman had another strong performance as he stopped 34 of 36 shots. He’s won all three of his starts.

“Any coach that tells you that goaltending is just part of the equation is not being honest with you. If you don’t have goaltending you’re going to have a really tough time winning games,’’ said Leach.

“Sway gives us all that and more and so does (Dan Vladar). We’re very blessed to have two guys that can really give us an opportunity to win every night. Sway tonight was outstanding.

“There were several breakdowns where he just stood tall in there, several that he made almost look routine, just because of his poise and athletic ability. It was a terrific performance by him.’’


Rookie defenseman Brady Lyle’s poise with the puck has been noticable since the opening game of the season.

He posted his first points as a pro with a goal and an assist on Sunday. Lyle showed off his sizzling shot when he scored on a wrister through traffic.

“He’s learning, like everyone else. Defensively he’s going to get better and better,’’ said Leach.

“He’s been terrific with the puck. He’s got a great shot. He’s had opportunities before in other games to score and it just didn’t go in for him, so it was nice to see that one go in. I’m sure there will be more.’’


Leach talked on Friday about how Wolff is making strides just three weeks into the season.

On Sunday, the big rookie made his presence known when he took on Mason Geertsen, a good fighter, after the Hartford defenseman rattled the boards with a clean but hard hit on Steen midway through the first period.

“They’re a physical group over there. Geertsen and (Patrick) Sieloff and (Brandon) Cawley. They all play a certain way. I think Wolff certainly is never going to back down from some of those players,’’ said Leach.

“It was terrific for us to get going with Wolfie fighting there, but the biggest thing is he’s just looking to establish some physicality. It’s something he does. Kudos to him for being able to step in there.’’

Three quick hits from Game 4

Dan Vladar stopped 24 shots and posted his first shutout of the season in Bridgeport. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins made it three straight wins over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday on the road. Zach Senyshyn scored the only goal of the game with 5:38 left and Dan Vladar made 24 saves in a 1-0 victory.

Here are three quick hits:


Senyshyn continued his good two-way play on Friday.

A stronger shot is part of his arsenal this season and he used it to his advantage on the game-winner, ripping the puck past Bridgeport goalie Jakub Skarek on the glove side from the right wing circle.

“He’s really worked on that shot. It was something he did in the summer. In practice, he’s been consistently hitting shot after shot coming down that wing with his speed,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

“He had one (play) in the second where he tried to make a pass across the ice to (Paul Carey). I got on him a little bit. I could see what he was doing, but in a 0-0 game we want to get pucks to the net. Sure enough, he gets a chance in the third and he doesn’t think twice about (shooting).

“That’s his game. He’s got straight-line speed. He’s really built the shot into his repertoire. He’s looking to use it. When he gets rewarded like he did tonight, you’ll see more and more of that.’’


Coming off his best season as a pro in 2019-20, Dan Vladar so far has picked up where he left off.

He turned in a stellar performance on Friday, raising his save percentage to .957 and lowering his goals-against to 1.03.

Vladar is settling in after starting out as the third goalie in Boston.

“It’s been real challenging for these guys that are on the taxi squad to feel like it’s a regular season. For a while there he was a little bit in no man’s land. It was good for him to come down, close to two weeks ago, and he’s looked good,’’ Leach said.

“He had a good game last week and then obviously tonight he looked real strong. He looked big in the net. I thought he played the puck pretty well. Clearly he’s maturing like we hoped.’’

Having Vladar and Jeremy Swayman in the net gives Providence a tandem that is as good as any in the AHL.


Jack Ahcan didn’t really have the puck on his stick for half of Friday’s game, but at times it seemed like it.

The rookie defenseman was credited with a game-high seven shots – he has a knack for finding shooting lanes — and he defended solidly, too.

“He was excellent on the blueline, very assertive. Whenever there’s a lane to the net he’s looking there, which I think does help our group understand that we want to get pucks and bodies (to the net). He’s certainly a driving force there,’’ said Leach.

“He’s also pretty strong on the walls, had a couple of squashes. I’ve said this before, he’s an undersized guy but he’s strong, has a really strong base, so he’s been able to close in those situations and come out with the puck. Certainly one of his best games.’’

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

The Providence Bruins are back and so am I.

The last time I wrote one of these was on March 8, 2020, when the P-Bruins had won 11 games in a row. We all know what happened next.

After all this time, it’s great to have games to watch and to write about and I’m thankful to the team for allowing me to attend home games in Marlboro.

And now, without further ado, on to this week’s games.

Providence split a pair over the last few days, losing to Hartford in Marlboro on Thursday and defeating Bridgeport on the road on Saturday.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Jakub Lauko has been the team’s top player. He had a goal and two assists on Saturday, including an unselfish play to set up an empty netter by Joona Koppanen. He’s making plays and there aren’t many opponents who can keep up with him when he hits full stride. With 1-4-5 in 3 games, as of Sunday afternoon he was tied for second in points in the AHL (with 11 other players).

— Trailing 3-2 heading into the third period on Saturday, the P-Bruins came on strong. They outshot the Sound Tigers, 11-4, and scored three times for the win.

— Providence wouldn’t have won the game in Bridgeport without the power play, which went 3 for 7.  

— Cameron Hughes had 1-1-2 on Saturday. His power play goal in the third period was the GWG.

— Cooper Zech’s game continues to grow. He scored his first goal of the season on a power play on Saturday, moving in from the blueline and making a quick move to open a shooting lane.

— Jack Ahcan had two assists in Bridgeport.

— Stick taps for Nick Wolff and Jack Studnicka in Thursday’s game. Wolff stuck up for a teammate, thowing down with Hartford’s Patrick Sieloff after Sieloff made a big hit on Alex-Olivier Voyer. Studnicka stood up for himself after a Sieloff hit earlier in the game.


— Jeremy Swayman left his net and put the puck right on the stick of Bridgeport’s Cole Bardreau, who shot it into the empty cage, while Providence was on a power play. Honest mistake.


— Giving up two shorthanded goals in one period on Saturday, well, that’s ugly, even though Providence ended up winning the game. The second goal was scored after Bridgeport broke into the Providence end on a 2 on 0. As coach Jay Leach said after the game, ‘’Mistakes are certainly going to happen, but that was reckless.’’

— Injured: Curtis Hall, Josiah Didier, Brendan Woods

Three quick hits from Game 3

You hear it all the time: Hockey is a game of mistakes.

The Providence Bruins and Bridgeport Sound Tigers demonstrated it yet again on Saturday at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. In the end, P-Bruins made just a couple fewer mistakes and rolled back up I-95 with a 5-3 win.

Here are three quick hits:


There’s no question Jakub Lauko has been Providence’s best player so far. He was a standout again on Saturday as he scored a goal and was credited with two assists. He now leads the team in scoring with 1-4-5 in three games.

Lauko’s speed stood out in the first minute of the third period when he drove the net and tipped in a pass from Oskar Steen for Providence’s third goal and again in the last minute when he flew down the ice to cancel icing and fed Joona Koppanen for an empty net goal.

In a chat with coach Jay Leach a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned that there would be an adjustment for Lauko and others who played in Europe earlier this season with its bigger ice surfaces and more conservative style of play. Playing in North America, Lauko would need to attack rather than back up is how Leach put it.

I asked him about that after Saturday’s game.

“It’s still a little bit of a work in progress, but I’m liking where it’s going. He’s straight lines. There’s a little swing to his game, which all offensive, skill guys are going to have. I don’t want to handcuff him. I certainly recognize the talent and the ability to get it going, but when I said that about backing up, it was kind of all encompassing. Backing up and kind of playing on the outside. Very much just a byproduct of the European style that he’s coming from,’’ he said.

“I’ve certainly talked to him about it, but it’s on him. He enjoys straight lines, he just needs to be reminded. Even at the end there – we talked about him going out on the 6 on 5 and I kind of made a deal with him, ‘You stop and start and you’re out there.’ He’s out there and he wants that puck. He makes a really nice play to Koppanen, too. Could have wired that thing from a really tough angle, but he settled it down and gave Koppi an empty netter, which was nice to see. It’s going well, to answer your question,’’ he said.


Jeremy Swayman stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced. The first goal was a deflection from the slot. The second was a misplay where Swayman came out of his net to play the puck and put it right on the stick of Bridgeport’s Cole Bardreau, who shot it into the empty net. The third goal came on a shorthanded 2 on 0 for the Sound Tigers.

The impressive way Swayman kept his composure after giving Bardreau a freebie was my biggest takeaway of the day.

“He knows he made a mistake. We know he made a mistake. It happens. The thing that impresses me so much is just his ability to be OK with that,’’ said Leach.

“He certainly will learn from it, I’m sure. But in the moment he just kind of parked it. He came back to the bench and said, ‘That’s my bad.’ Then we scored a goal and he said, ‘Thanks for helping me out.’ Then he stood tall for us down the stretch and got the victory. It says a lot about his maturity, his composure and his mindset.’’


Providence wouldn’t have won without the power play, which went 3 for 7.

That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news is that they gave up two shorthanded goals, one of which came on a 2 on 0 break by the Sound Tigers.

“I had some flashbacks of a rookie tournament several years ago with 2 on 0s on both sides, which I can’t say as the coach I really enjoyed. I think the 30 people that were in the building really enjoyed it,’’ said Leach.

“We talked about it after the period. Mistakes are certainly going to happen, but that was reckless. That’s just something that we’re going to have to make sure that we understand — that we’re on the power play and we want to score goals, but it’s not a 5 on 0, 2 on 0 back type of scenario. We still have to play with our brains, cause you’re not going to win many games giving up that.

“That being said, the power play really kept us in it and won it for us in the end. We can learn from it. We’re going to talk about it and at the same time I think we can also build on the fact that we had some pretty nice execution and got some momentum out of it.’’

All’s well that ends well.

Three quick hits from Game 2

Jack Studnicka’s first fight as a pro was not on the list of things I expected to see when I walked into the New England Sports Center in Marlboro on Thursday.

In their second game of the season, the Providence Bruins started strong, but were outplayed over the last 40 minutes by the more physical Hartford Wolf Pack. The final was 4-0 Hartford, with the last two goals scored with Dan Vladar of the P-Bruins on the bench for an extra attacker.

The loss snapped Providence’s 13-game winning streak dating back to the 2019-20 season.

Here are three quick hits from the game:


Playing in his first game since missing time with an upper-body injury sustained while with Boston, Studnicka had a decent showing. He played on the power play and penalty kill in addition to his regular shift. He displayed his ability to enter the offensive zone with speed and was credited with two shots.

Playing right wing with linemates Oskar Steen and Jakub Lauko, Studnicka took exception early in the second period when Hartford’s Patrick Sieloff hit him along the wall in the defensive zone. He went after Sieloff and they both received five-minute penalties.

“First of all, we just want to get him back playing. We accomplished that. We want to make sure he’s comfortable on the wing; obviously he had some opportunity there earlier in Boston,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

“Did not want him fighting someone else, certainly not part of the plan. Things happen. I’m not sure exactly what, I couldn’t see it from my viewpoint,’’ Leach said.

You can debate the wisdom of fighting when coming off an injury, but credit to Studnicka for standing up for himself.


Leach said the second and third periods, when Providence was outshot 19-12, “was vintage Hartford, where they’re in your face and they’re going to make it hard on you coming out of your own end and make it hard on you getting to the net. It will be a good challenge to play them 11 more times,’’ he said.

Division rivals Bridgeport and Hartford are going to be physical against Providence. It will be interesting to see how the P-Bruins respond.

“We’re a young group, especially on the back end right now, four rookies and two second-year guys. We’re youthful, so we have energy, we have legs and I think we have some skill. We’re going to have to push a little bit through some of the physicality we’re going to be up against,’’ said Leach.

“We’re going to have to decide when we’re playing these two teams whether we want to be playing inside or outside. It will be a good lesson for us. That will be a challenge for us. We’ve got a lot of speed and we’ve got some skill. We’re going to have to find a way to play on the tougher areas of the ice for us to be successful against these two teams.’’


When Hartford’s Sieloff flattened Alex-Olivier Voyer with a big hit late in the game, Nick Wolff had seen enough.

He went straight for Sieloff and dropped his gloves.

“We know Wolfie’s a physical player and that’s certainly part of his game,’’ said Leach. “Did a terrific job there at the end. I don’t think he liked some of the liberties that were being taken against some of his teammates and so he stepped up huge for us there.”

Fisticuffs aside, Wolff so far has lived up to his billing.

“Overall, he was solid. He’s looked to to be a defensive defenseman with good positioning and a good stick and be physical and he was all of those. He was relatively clean with the puck in most areas of the ice. It was a good performance,’’ said Leach.