Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling joined NHL Live to discuss his first NHL win Sunday against the Ottawa Senators.
Making his NHL debut after nine years in the minor leagues, Darling stopped 32 shots in a 2-1 victory at United Center, not far from his hometown of Lemont, Ill., that snapped the Blackhawks two-game losing streak.
"There's obviously tough days when things aren't going your way," said Darling, whose playing days began with the North Iowa Outlaws of the North American Hockey League in 2005-06. "But I had a really good support system, some really great people, some really great mentors who have stuck with me all the way through, who kept me chugging along. It all came to fruition [Sunday] night. It's been a great journey. I enjoyed every team and organization."
Darling, 25, received his call up from Rockford of the American Hockey League, where he was 2-0-0 with a 1.44 goals-against average and .948 save percentage. He started Sunday with Blackhawks starting goalie Corey Crawford out with an upper-body injury and Chicago playing the second of back-to-back games. He is the sixth Illinois-born goalie to appear in a game for the Blackhawks.
"I don't know if I could put it into words perfectly but it was an amazing experience," Darling said. "It was a real honor to put on a Blackhawks jersey and play my first NHL game. During the day was the toughest part when I was sitting around in my hotel room. But from the time I got to the rink the guys on the team were awesome. They really lightened the mood for me and just told me that we're going to have a blast out there and they're there with me. They made it easy on me."