Bruins Notes: How Jack Studnicka Impressed Bruce Cassidy Against Rangers

Studnicka recorded a pair of point in Boston's 3-2 loss


September 28, 2021

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was complimentary of Jack Studnicka following Boston’s 3-2 preseason loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night as the third-line center was influential in jump-starting the offense in the second period.

Studnicka, who centered the third line with Jesper Froden and Fabian Lysell, recorded a pair of points on one goal and one assist during the middle period. His goal at 8:46 cut Boston’s deficit to 2-1 before he provided the helper on what was the game-tying goal by defenseman Urho Vaakanainen at 15:29.

“He managed the puck well,” Cassidy said of Studnicka during a postgame video conference. “I don’t think anybody early on was hard enough on it once when we did get it back in the O-zone and that’s where their (Studnicka’s) line started to do a little bit more of that, find their outlets whether that’s low to high so we could space a little bit to get some more room.

“Then all of a sudden now they’re (Rangers) throwing pucks out of the zone, changing, and that’s where the game opened up for us,” Cassidy continued. “Good spot for Jack, finishes. (He) had a couple other chances around the net. … Good for Jack in that regard. Like I said, I think their line has the ability to create offense and eventually they did and did a good job for us.”

It seems Studnicka will have the opportunity to fight for the second-line center position vacated by the departure of David Krejci, and nights like Tuesday help his cause.

Here are some other notes from Bruins-Rangers:

— Studnicka noted how he could feel the difference after putting on some weight in the offseason, and explained how it helped him against the Rangers.

“I was able to throw my body around more when I was going through guys hands on the back check and such. I felt that I was getting my position good,” Studnicka said after the game. “It’s going to be a work in progress. It?s a little bit different of a game than I’m able to play now so I’m just trying to bring more of an edge.”

— Linus Ullmark, who signed a four-year deal with the Bruins this offseason, made his Bruins debut between the pipes. The veteran netminder allowed two goals on 13 shots with 11 saves in one and a half periods. He played the first period and midway through the second, sticking to a similar script as Jeremy Swayman, another in the running starting job, who played an identical 30 minutes in his start Sunday.

— In addition to his second-period goal, Vaakanainen was much better Tuesday night after a so-so performance during the preseason opener.

“Well, I thought against Washington he slapped pucks around a lot for a guy that’s played game and has a good idea what to expect, right?,” Cassidy said. “So today he had a little more composure. He helped his partner out a number of times to settle things down, make a tape-to-tape passes, get it out of our end. … I just thought in general his ability to get to pucks, make an outlet was better than Washington.”

— Lysell, 18, earned a positive review from Studnicka and shared his early thoughts on his first two preseason games.

“Just tried to compete the whole time, tried to keep up with the pace,” Lysell said after the game. “I thought both games, as the games has went on, I think I played better for each period. That’s just what I’ve been trying to do, compete and find open spaces to create chances. It’s definitely a higher level than I’m used to but I think I’ve handled it pretty good.”

— The Bruins now are 1-1 on the preseason and will return to TD Garden to host the Philadelphia Flyers in their third of four preseason games Thursday. Boston will open its regular season Oct. 16 against the Dallas Stars.

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