Despite a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames, David Rittich drew praise after his Toronto Maple Leafs debut on Tuesday night.
Rittich, acquired Sunday from the Flames for a third-round pick, turned aside 25 of 28 shots faced in the loss to his former team.
"Quite the circumstances the last 48 hours for him," Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said. "Probably the main reason we got a point."
The 28-year-old, who was making just his second start of the month, saw his season record drop to 4-7-2 between the two teams. He has a 2.90 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage on the year.
"I thought he looked really good in the net," Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe added. "I'm sure it's a difficult night for him. The emotions are part of it, but then the actual game play is another thing. The colours of the jerseys and the different people on the ice, you're used to being on the other side, that can be difficult. But I thought he looked good in the net, he looked confident, he made some good saves for us; I don't think he had a chance on any of the goals. It was a good debut for him."
Johnny Gaudreau beat Rittich on a breakaway just 36 seconds into overtime, and chalked up his goal to familiarity with the Flames former goaltender.
"We had a couple of shootouts in the past few practices before the [trade] deadline, and I scored a couple on him, so I kind of felt comfortable there," Gaudreau said. "I normally don't go to my forehand and I think I fooled him a little bit there."
Rittich became the fourth goaltender to make a start for the Maple Leafs this season on Tuesday, joining Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson.