"He had three major injuries and was not able to find a groove," coach Peter Laviolette said after Thursday's practice at the Consol Energy Center. "To come out of the lineup from one injury and get back in and find your timing, and find your game, is difficult for a veteran player. And for a rookie player, it's even more difficult - and multiply it times three."
Schenn became the eighth rookie to have a three-point playoff game in franchise history, keying Wednesday's comeback in which the Flyers erased a three-goal deficit and stunned the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime, 4-3.
For Schenn, who was scoreless and minus-8 in his first eight games this season, it was his first three-point night in any NHL game.
"It's nice to have it in the first playoff game, but now I've got to put it behind me and worry about the next one," he said. "It's just one game. Now, on to Game 2."
It took him a while to get into a flow this season, but Schenn - finally healthy after the hard-luck start - is showing why he was such a highly regarded prospect and why the Flyers insisted he be part of the stunning Mike Richards deal last June.
The Flyers acquired Schenn and Wayne Simmonds - who, like Ian Laperriere a few years ago, has become a Philadelphia folk hero because of his gritty, stitches-be-damned play - in the trade that sent Richards to Los Angeles.
(Pause for crazy thought: Yes, the odds are about a gazillion-to-one, but wouldn't it be a deliciously wonderful series if somehow the Flyers and Kings - a team that has Richards and his beach-boy pal, Jeff Carter - met in the Stanley Cup Finals?)
OK, back to reality: Over the last few weeks of the regular season, Schenn (12 goals in 54 games) and Simmonds (career-high 28 goals) were arguably the Flyers' best players.
Schenn's development has been steady, and with each game you can sense his confidence growing, especially in the latter stages of the season. It will be interesting to see whether his outburst Wednesday is just the beginning.
The Brayden Schenn Stardom Tour may be under way.
"Definitely a big game for him," teammate Max Talbot said. "He was hitting the body, driving the net - especially in the first period when not everybody was going, but he was one who was definitely ready to play. His progression was great this year."
In addition to his goal and two assists, Schenn had four hits and won six of nine faceoffs. He has alternated between center and wing on a line with Danny Briere and Simmonds.
"He's been playing great hockey of late," said winger Scott Hartnell, whose crafty slap-pass was redirected by Schenn into a power-play goal that tied the game, 3-3, with 7 minutes, 37 seconds left in regulation Wednesday.
"I think this is the time for him to shine. Obviously, he had a lot of pressure early in the season [because] he replaced Richie. There were lots of expectations, and now he's playing hockey like he can.
"He's feeling it."
Schenn admitted to being "a little nervous" for his initial playoff shift.
"Just stepping onto the ice, the fans were going pretty wild, and it's a pretty hostile building to play in," Schenn said. "You can't be intimidated, you can't let it get to you. It was good to get the first shift out of the way, and then you don't have to worry about the rest."
The Penguins have taken notice of him.
"He's thick and plays hard and skates well," said Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal, who was sometimes matched against Schenn in Game 1. "He's another player in the lineup we have to watch out for."
Simmonds said Schenn "has improved every game by leaps and bounds. He's so confident with the puck and he's a big body. He plays the game the right way, and he's not afraid to be physical. He's got a lot of offensive upside."
Schenn is modest about his emergence.
"The coaching staff believed in me, and gave me a good chance, and stuck with me," he said. "I'm playing with some great players and getting power-play time, and I'm just trying to do everything I can with it."
And hoping his patchy playoff beard fills in.
"I'm trying," he said with a smile.
Contact Sam Carchidi at firstname.lastname@example.org or @BroadStBull on Twitter.