Mackenzie Skapski got his “Welcome to the NHL” moment just 14 seconds into his first big league start, as Buffalo’s Matt Moulson scored on the Rangers goaltender before the rookie even had time to settle in.
This time last season, Mackenzie Skapski was part of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, coming off a 40-save win the night before. Oh, how things can change in a year.
For Friday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, Skapski, a sixth-round (170th) pick of the New York Rangers in 2013, got the call for the Blueshirts. It’s hard to blame the 20-year-old for having to deal with some nerves, but he certainly didn’t have the start he wanted. Fourteen seconds into the game, the Rangers turned the puck over following a faceoff and it ended up on the stick of Matt Moulson.
Poor Skapski. For what it’s worth, though, the young netminder recovered rather well. After two periods, Skapski had stopped the next eight shots he faced. After two, the netminder was on pace for his first career NHL victory.
In 24 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack this season, Skapski has posted a 2.38 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.