Eric Wellwood didn’t score, but he didn’t look out of place in his NHL debut Monday night.
In fact, the speedy 20-year-old left winger contributed more than anyone could have expected in the Flyers’ 3-2 win over Carolina.
Wellwood, who looks like he’s 17, had a team-high six shots and two hits while playing on a line with Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk.
He was recalled from AHL Adirondack earlier in the day because of Danny Briere’s suspension.
“I haven’t had enough time to take it all in yet,” he said after the game. “But I think my first period, I was just nervous and I made some mistakes that I usually don’t make. By the third period I felt a lot more comfortable, Hopefully I can keep things going.”
After he shook off the nerves, “I felt I got my game underneath my feet and I could use my speed to my advantage a little more,” he said. “I had a lot of shots but [the puck] just didn’t go in.”
Selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft, Wellwood felt at home with his new teammates, saying he was “shocked by how much they embraced me and it was really nice to see. It made me feel a lot more comfortable.”
The Flyers got two goals from Scott Hartnell and one from Claude Giroux. (Memo to GM Paul Holmgren: Sign Giroux to a long-term contract as quickly as possible.)
“I really liked Wellwood; I think he played very well tonight,” Giroux said. “He battled hard and I think the whole team did.”
Said Hartnell: “It was good for Wellwood to get his first game. He played well and could have had two or three goals himself.”
Wellwood has good bloodlines. His brother, Kyle, played five seasons in the NHL _ he scored 63 goals in 338 games with Toronto and Vancouver _ and is now playing in Russia.
Breakaways. The Flyers killed all three Carolina PPs. The Flyers penalty killers have killed 15 straight power plays in the last three games.....The Flyers have won four straight…..Monday was their third game in four nights….The Flyers won a season-high 61 percent of their face-offs, with Jeff Carter (65 percent), Giroux (61 percent) and Mike Richards (60 percent) leading the way….Matt Carle had a game-high five blocked shots…..The Flyers host the Rangers on Thursday.