Schenn-sational: Schenn Tallies Three Points In Playoffs Debut
As the seconds ticked off the clock in the second period, the Flyers trailed 3-1 to the Penguins in Game 1.
It was a seemingly insurmountable deficit with the way Pittsburgh controlled the play through the first two periods with their physical bullying style of play.
The Flyers needed someone to step up and stand up to the bull and Brayden Schenn did just that, both metaphorically and literally.
Schenn was charged by Penguins forward Craig Adams with only seconds remaining on the clock. Schenn turned around and absorbed all of the hit, knocking Adams on his rear-end as Schenn stood over him and smiled.
Schenn then got in the face of Adams, goading a shove to the face that wasn’t called and skated away with a smirk on his face after the referees separated the two.
That could have been the turning point for the Flyers, who came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime.
Schenn isn’t a 10-year veteran, but he certainly played the part throughout the game. Though he’s only 20, Schenn made his name known all game, delivering big hits, four in the game including the one on Adams to conclude the second period.
Schenn was also delivering timely assists on both of Danny Briere’s goals in the second and early part of the third period.
Schenn finally delivered a goal personally, deflecting a pass from Scott Hartnell on the Flyers only power play to tie the game with under eight minutes in the game. It was his third point of the game, a feat that hasn’t been done since 1968.
The Flyers had a handful of questions to be answered heading into this series. The most prominent of those questions though involved the youth the Flyers boasted all season long.
Guys like Matt Read, Sean Couturier, Marc Andre Bourdon, Jackub Voracek, Eric Wellwood and Schenn were making their playoff debuts as well as rookie Zac Rinaldo making his first appearance as someone more than a goon.
That much inexperience had many fans concerned if the Flyers would wind up having the “deer in the headlights” affect rather than a hungry and inspired affect.
"I think, however many rookies we had in the lineup, we were just in shock," Schenn said. "We weren't doing things the right way. We didn't weather their storm. Before we knew it, we were down 3-0. For the young guys, that was a big win for us to get one under our belt."
Those fears were quelled in Game 1 with Schenn’s three points, Read’s assist on Voracek's winner to go along with a few scoring chances from others and Couturier’s defense on Penguins star Evgeni Malkin allowed the Flyers to erase a 3-0 deficit.
But it was Schenn who shone the brightest of the rookies.
A lot is going to rely on how the rookies embrace their important roles on the Flyers in their young careers. It’s a franchise starving for a championship and they know full well they will give the Flyers a good chance every season the better they get.
For now, it’s one game at a time for the Flyers, who hold a very important 1-0 series lead on the Penguins while starting on the road.
"We can move forward now," Laviolette said. "There were a lot of first-time experiences today. That's over with. We persevered. That's a good thing. The playoffs are like a loaf of bread. It's slice by slice. Some slices you really like, some are kind of moldy and rotten. One has nothing to do with the rest."
The series is far from over and guys like Schenn will need to continue to step up if they don’t want their first full NHL campaign to end too early.