"He's just a noticeable player in that role that we used him [last night]," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "He finished all of his hits. We noticed him in the rookie game, he did a good job. He did the same thing; he scored a goal. He came in and played a solid game and he finished a lot of hits tonight."
Holmstrom said he was fortunate to have so many veterans dressed in the Flyers' 4-3 shootout win at the Wells Fargo Center, a preseason game that received less attention from the announced 19,288 in attendance than the Phillies updates shown on the big screen.
Holmstrom centered Ian Laperriere and Jody Shelley on the fourth line, winning five of eight draws. Holmstrom had a scoring opportunity midway through the game but fanned on a one-timer toward an empty net.
"I wasn't really sure what to expect," Holmstrom said. "All of those guys took real good care of me, before the game and after the game. How I played is a lot of them taking care of me and making feel comfortable."
Some of his comfort level also came from training with Eric Wellwood, Andrew Rowe, Erik Gustafsson and Mike Testwuide all summer in South Jersey under the watchful eye of trainer Jim McCrossin.
"There was a few of us that hung around in a little group," Holmstrom said. "It was a good support system. It's just easy when you got guys around you going through the same thing. You can kind of lean on each other. Those couple months in the summer were huge."
Laviolette said it showed a "really good commitment" and gives players the "best opportunity to become a Philadelphia Flyer."
While it is unlikely Holmstrom, 23, will win a spot in camp, he could position himself as one of the first out of Adirondack in case of an injury.
"I didn't set a distinct goal, saying I wanted to be here or there," Holmstrom said. "I think you always keep the NHL in the back of your mind. But I'm going to go where they tell me, and when it's time to play, it's time to play."
Sergei Bobrovsky, the Flyers' highly touted 22-year-old Russian goaltender, made his NHL debut last night - and starred in the shootout. Bobrovsky turned aside Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and Jacob Josefson, along with seven other shots in the third period and overtime.
Jason Arnott was the only one to solve Bobrovsky, who, through a translator, admitted he was nervous.
"I thought he did a good job with the third period," Peter Laviolette said. "He didn't have a lot of chances but he had some big saves, and in the shootout I thought he did a good job there as well.
"I think his quickness is what catches everybody's eye. I think that's what jumps out most for everybody that watches him is that he's athletic and he's quick."
Blair Betts, Dan Carcillo, Scott Hartnell, Chris Pronger, Ville Leino and Matt Carle were the notable scratches. Betts has been experiencing soreness from a recent right knee scope . . . Mike Richards' backhand won the shootout and the game for the Flyers . . . Jeff Carter whacked a puck out of mid-air for the Flyers' second goal.