RALEIGH, NC - Carolina Hurricanes emergency backup goaltender David Ayres, who helped the Hurricanes defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Feb. 22, has been voted the "Greatest Moment of the NHL Season…So Far" in an online fan vote. Fans were able to vote on one matchup per day on Twitter and Instagram from the original bracket of 64 moments. Ayres defeated teammate Andrei Svechnikov's "lacrosse-style" goal in the semifinals and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne's goal in the final matchup.
THE LEGEND OF DAVE AYRES | AYRES WINS FAN CHOICE AWARD
Following injuries to both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek, Ayres entered the game as emergency backup goaltender at 11:19 of the second period on Feb. 22 in Toronto. Over the final 28:41, Ayres stopped eight of 10 shots as Carolina defeated the Maple Leafs 6-3 at Scotiabank Arena. At 42 years and 194 days old, Ayres became the oldest goaltender in NHL history to win his NHL debut and the second-oldest player, regardless of position, to make his debut, trailing only Lester Patrick (43 years, 80 days old). In addition, Ayres is the second-oldest player to appear in a game in franchise history, trailing Gordie Howe (52 years and 11 days).