For a while there it looked like he might be the first New Jersey-born goaltender to make it to the NHL and the first to leave it — possibly for good.
After making a strong initial impression in his debut 2016-17 season with the Philadelphia Flyers, Anthony Stolarz missed almost the entire 2017-18 campaign due to a pair of knee surgeries.
By the start of the current slate, Stolarz had tumbled all the way down to third-string netminder on the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Then a strange thing happened. Goaltenders started falling faster than bowling pins at Asbury Lanes, not far from his Jackson, N.J., hometown.