Arizona Coyotes backup goalie Louis Domingue is recovering from a lower body injury suffered last week, so 22-year-old Marek Langhamer was recently called up from the AHL to take his place. At the time of his call-up, the Czech Republic native and former seventh-round draft pick had no experience at the NHL level.
But on Tuesday night in Glendale, Langhamer got his first taste of action in the show when starter Mike Smith exited the game with an apparent head injury following a collision (above). Langhamer was thrown straight into the fire for his debut, taking over in net with a two-goal lead in the third period against a solid Ducks team.
With the desperation factor ramped up, Anaheim had a late-game surge that saw captain Ryan Getzlaf cut Arizona's lead to just one goal with under a minute left. The Ducks were so, so close to quickly following that goal with another in the closing seconds, but Langhamer came up with a massive stop as the clock neared zeroes.
It was a golden opportunity denied by a brilliant, clutch save from the man making his NHL debut. The pad stop preserved the win for Arizona and left many a Ducks in stunned disbelief.
Sure, it wasn't the most glorious or ideal debut scenario for Langhamer, who made 7 of 8 possible saves in 15 and a half minutes of action. With that being said, he showed poise and came up huge for his team in a crucial spot. That's a solid way to make sure your debut isn't one that's quickly forgotten.