David Ayres, 42, gets NHL win after Hurricanes goalies James Reimer, Petr Mrazek are hurt

Goaltender David Ayres, 42, made his NHL debut Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

And he got his first NHL win.

If you haven't heard of him, that's because he's an emergency backup goaltender.

But he was pressed into action in the game at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena because of injuries to Hurricanes goaltenders James Reimer and Petr Mrazek.

Ayres serves as a goalie for the Maple Leafs during some practices. He also drives the Zamboni during home games for the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies, according to Hockey Night in Canada.

Reimer, the starter, had to leave when teammate Jaccob Slavin was checked and slid into the goalie during the first period. The Hurricanes ruled him out the rest of the game with a lower-body injury.

Then Mrazek was hurt in a second-period collision with Toronto's Kyle Clifford as both chased down a loose puck in the faceoff circle.

In came Ayres.

Welcome to the NHL, Emergency Back-Up Goalie David Ayres. pic.twitter.com/heoVxfcxnK

#LetsGoCanes emergency goalie David Ayres last competitive game

February 15, 2015 for the Norwood Vipers of the Allan Cup Hockey League vs the Stoney Creek Generals

Ayres allowed 11 goals on 46 shots in a 14-4 defeat

He was the first emergency goalie to play since Scott Foster came in for the Chicago Blackhawks during a 6-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets in 2018.

Ayres came out of his crease to play a puck and it led to a Carolina rush and a Teuvo Teravainen goal for a 4-1 Carolina lead.

But John Tavares and Pierre Engvall scored on the first two shots against Ayres before he settled down and left the second period with a 4-3 lead.

Emergency backup goaltender David Ayres getting sticks taps from Leafs players as he leaves the ice pic.twitter.com/ykv4hDHPZS

The Hurricanes built a 6-3 lead early in the third period, and Ayres stopped all seven shots he faced for the victory.

"It was awesome, obviously the time of my life out there," Ayres told Sportsnet. "Once in a lifetime, I'll take it."

The Hurricanes were in the market for a goaltender before this, and their search is likely to intensify before Monday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.

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