(UPDATED: Stolarz will make his debut Sunday, the Flyers confirmed after Sunday's morning skate.)
Anthony Stolarz will to make his NHL debut Sunday night against Calgary at the Wells Fargo Center, becoming the first New Jersey-born goalie to play in the league.
"It would be exciting," said Stolarz, an AHL all-star last season who was recalled Nov. 14 when Michal Neuvirth went down with a knee injury. "Like I've said all along, I just want to come in here and contribute to this team. I've been around them a long time the last three years. I got close to a lot of them."
Stolarz, 22, said goalies "don't usually hit their stride to their mid to late 20s, so for me, just getting this experience" _ and learning from starter Steve Mason and goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh _ has been beneficial.
In the last few seasons, Stolarz has been recalled seven times but has sat on the bench for 26 games.
"Stolie's been very patient and he's done his work," winger Wayne Simmonds said after Saturday's practice in Voorhees.
Stolarz was raised in Jackson, N.J., attended St. John Vianney and Jackson Memorial high schools, and expects to have his parents, three brothers, and friends at Sunday's game.
"It's exciting being able to represent New Jersey, growing up playing youth hockey (there), and to show kids you can come from not such a hockey hotbed and pursue your dream," he said. "Hopefully a lot of kids will continue to work hard and realize they can live out their dreams, too."
Mason, who has started the last six games, said Stolarz has made major strides in the last year, especially with his explosiveness when he pushes off.
"I think he's ready for it; he's earned his shot," Mason said. "I just told him to have fun. It's a big deal because you've worked your entire life to get that first NHL start...but at the end of the day, it's another game of hockey. It's just a matter of him controlling his emotions and keeping an even-keel the entire game. Just go out there and play hockey."
"Obviously we have to be sharp in front of him, but we've got faith in Stolie," said Simmonds, who leads the Flyers with 10 goals and 19 points. "Stolie's looked real good since he's come up in practice."
"Everybody knows it's something special, especially for a young goalie," said left winger Michael Raffl, who will probably move to the top line Sunday while Brayden Schenn drops to the fourth line.
Told Stolarz will be the first New Jersey-born goalie to play in an NHL game, Raffl kidded, "No way. You've got to put money on the board, then, for sure. That's awesome. Right on, Stolie."
Raffl said the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Stolarz "is big, he's tall, he moves well. I think he's on his way to becoming a really good goalie, so I would like to see him in there and see what he does."
"We'll try to help him out, especially in the beginning, because I'm sure he's going to be nervous," winger Jake Voracek said.