PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers rookie Brayden Schenn admitted that he had put a little bit of pressure on himself to score his first NHL goal. After being plagued with injuries through the opening three months of the season, Schenn finally notched his first goal, but Philadelphia fell 3-2 to the New York Rangers in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic.
Schenn joked he almost blacked out he was so excited, but the youthful exuberance in his goal celebration was well-deserved -- and not just because of the scene or that he began the play with one of his 12 faceoff wins on the afternoon.
After spending the last two seasons traveling between the Los Angeles Kings, Manchester Monarchs of the AHL and Brandon and Saskatoon of the WHL, Schenn found himself on the move yet again last June as part of the Mike Richards deal. After a prolonged wait, Schenn sees finally scoring his first goal something he can build on.
"It's a positive step," said Schenn. "Obviously I've wanted to get it for a while. It just seemed I wouldn't get the break or couldn't go in and that one hopped right on my stick. I was fortunate enough to bury it, so I think I can use it as a step forward and that's what I'm going to try to do."
In early December, Schenn was diagnosed with a mild concussion and missed nine games. That was on top of a bum shoulder and a broken foot he suffered earlier in the season.
Those injuries prevented him from finding his place in the Flyers' lineup, something Schenn is slowly working on.
"They're giving me an opportunity to play with some good players right now," said Schenn.
"I've just got to work myself in. There's chemistry built through the first half. I just wasn't able to find chemistry with anyone, so now it's my job with my linemates to try and blend in, and blend in with the team, as well, since I haven't played a whole lot of hockey this year."
The loss now puts the Rangers four points ahead of the Flyers in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings with three meetings left, including one the final week of the season.
The Flyers and Schenn wanted to win this game badly; for the 46,967 in attendance at Citizen Bank Park and for the momentum going forward, but it wasn't to be.
Scratching out the two points would have been a great finale to a special day for Schenn.
"When you don't get the win in the in the end, it's bittersweet."