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Anthony Stolarz: Former Jr. Devil Shines Back Home in Jersey




NEWARK — Anthony Solarz has played for many teams in his professional career and been part of many wins over the years. 

The Florida Panthers are his seventh team — third in the NHL — and Tuesday night was his 18th win of the season. 

Nothing can be as sweet, however, as coming home.

Winning at home is pretty good, too.

That win with the Panthers on Wednesday came on home ice for Stolarz, who once rooted for the Devils. 

Born in nearby Edison, Stolarz grew up and started playing hockey in central New Jersey.

Tuesday was not the first time he faced the Devils in Newark, but given his 22-save victory — which came with about 50 friends and family in attendance — had to be one of his most memorable. 

“It gives everyone something to go home happy with,” Stolarz said after the Panthers won 5-3

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“It’s always fun. I think I played here a couple of times, so it’s exciting to be able to share this moment with everyone who helped me get here.”

Stolarz wasn’t all that busy as he only faced 25 shots. 

Forcing Jack Hughes to hit the crossbar on a third-period breakaway was probably the most memorable moment.

Stolarz recalls his days as a Devils fan, watching Martin Brodeur, and the significance of his development in the Devils’ youth hockey program.

“It’s funny. I saw John DiNorcia recently. He was the head coach of my New Jersey Devils team when I played there,” Stolarz said. “He was down in Florida for a summer tournament, so I was able to see him and go on the ice with his U-16 team and get to see his son, who I remember was super young back then.

At least 30 New Jersey residents have made it to the NHL in recent years, including current NHL stalwarts James and Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Tony DeAngelo

Stolarz is the only active goaltender from the Garden State. 

“It just means a lot to be able to represent the area,” Stolarz said. “It kind of just shows kids that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you are from. If you work hard and have the right mentality, you never know what can happen.”

Stolarz fits the description of a journeyman, a term generally used for backups and marginal players. 

His play this year will earn him some security, if not in Florida, where Spencer Knight is still in the picture, then with another NHL team.

Stolarz’s 12-5-2 record earned him that. His poise when asked to go in for the Panthers has earned him that. 

Stolarz leads all goalies who have played at least 20 games with a 2.07/.921, second only to favored Vezina Trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck.

And with the Panthers having probable Vezina finalist Sergei Bobrovsky as well, that’s a pretty good 1-2 punch.



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Season Series — At Florida: Flyers 2, Panthers 1 (Feb 6); Thursday. At Philadelphia: March 24.  
  • Last Season: Philadelphia won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Philadelphia leads 57-37-6, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Calgary, 4 p.m.

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