For NHL rookies, memories are made of this ...
For the Canes' Dwight Helminen, it was scoring his first NHL goal and notching his first assist in Carolina's 6-4 victory Sunday over the Maple Leafs. For Patrick Dwyer, it was getting more than 14 minutes of ice time in his NHL debut and being a part of the comeback win.
On the goal, which tied the score 3-3, Helminen said: "We had a good shift going and just were getting pucks to the net. They almost got it out of the zone. We got it back in. We got a shot from the point and the puck came back out.
"It was kind of to my left. It was kind of a bouncing puck and I just tried to get my stick on it and chip it towards the net."
What he did was chip it past Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph.
The Canes saved the puck for Helminen, who was playing his fourth game since being called up from Albany (AHL).
"I don't know where it is right now but they've got it," a smiling Helminen said.
Canes coach Peter Laviolette noted that Helminen started on the fourth line, moved up to the third line and kept on moving.
"He ended on (Eric) Staal's line," Laviolette said. "That's pretty good progress in one night."
Then there was Dwyer. With forward Matt Cullen sidelined with an injury, Dwyer was called up from Albany on Sunday.
Dwyer played games for the Rivers Rats both Friday and Saturday. He got the news from River Rats coach Jeff Daniels after Saturday's game that he was needed in Raleigh.
"It's amazing," Dwyer said. "It's something you dream about as a kid, and then to get out there and actually do it is an amazing feeling.
"I was excited. After playing the two nights with Albany and then flying all day, I think I was running truly off adrenaline. But I felt good. I just wanted to relish it and enjoy the experience."