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Blackwood impressed in first NHL start

It's been quite a week for the 22-year-old who made 36 saves in his first NHL start Thursday night

by Caela McLoughlin @NJDevils /

On Monday, December 17, Mackenzie Blackwood got called up to New Jersey from Binghamton, where he's played 15 games so far this season. Although the rookie traveled as the third goaltender with the team during their Global Series trip in October, this was the first time in his professional hockey career he's gotten a taste of the big club.

Tweet from @NJDevils: Your 2018-19 New Jersey Devils. #DevilsGoAbroad | #NowWeRise | #NJDevils

The netminder made his debut Tuesday night when the Devils hosted Toronto, as he replaced Keith Kinkaid in net for the final 20 minutes of play.

Tweet from @NJDevils: Looking good in your @NHL debut, Mac! #NJDevils

Just two days later, it was announced that the 22-year-old would make his first NHL start when the Devils faced off against the Blue Jackets in Columbus Thursday night.

Tweet from @NJDevils: Tonight's starting goaltender matchup presented by @RWJBarnabas is:#NJDevils' Mackenzie Blackwood (0-0-0)vs. Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky (13-10-1)Blackwood will be making his first @NHL start tonight.

After leading the team out for warm-ups, the netminder was all business preparing for the game.

Tweet from @NJDevils: 🔓🔒

Just a minute after puck drop, Blackwood impressed on his first save of the game.

Tweet from @NJDevils: This was a toe-tally great save for Mackenzie Blackwood's @NHL debut, even if we do say so ourselves. #NJDevils

By the end of the first period, the rookie faced 17 shots.

Tweet from @NJDevils: In his first 20 minutes tonight, Mackenzie Blackwood faced 17 SOG. #NJDvsCBJ

Not to mention, facing six of those shots in a 30-second span at the end of the period while the Devils were killing off a penalty.

Tweet from @NJDevils: Mac had quite a finish to that opening period during the PK. 😱

Blackwood went on to face 17 shots in the second period and made some very impressive saves in the final frame.

Tweet from @MSGNetworks: Mackenzie Blackwood is keeping the @NJDevils in the game! #NJDevils

At the end of the night, he faced 38 shots, stopping 36 of them. Although he didn't record his first NHL win on the night, he felt good about his first start. Here's what he had to say at the end of the night:

Tweet from @NJDevils: "It was a good starter and benchmark for me. The boys played really hard for me." -Mackenzie Blackwood👂 Coach Hynes:👂 Zajac:

To stay up-to-date on all Devils related news, follow the team on social media at @NJDevils on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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