Tuesday was an emotional night for Joey Daccord.
The goaltender made just his second career NHL start, nearly two years after his first, and just so happened to do it against his goaltending idol and in the city where half of his family is from.
"My dad and his side of the family is from West Island here in Montreal," Daccord said. "There's a 50/50 chance my grandfather tried to sneak into this game. He probably had a tear running down his eye watching me play tonight against the Habs at the Bell Centre."
The Sens were beaten 3-1 by Montreal but all of the praise post-game was heaped on Daccord after his 30 save performance.
"Joey Daccord was spectacular," head coach D.J. Smith said. "He gave us every opportunity to win. He looked sharp, he looked confident. It was a great showing for a guy that is coming in for his first start in a long time."
To be exact, it was 698 days since Daccord's only other NHL start. It came against Buffalo in Ottawa's final game of the 2018-19 season and at the time, Daccord was coming right of school with Arizona State.
This time, he had 39 professional games under his belt. In his first career NHL start, Daccord faced Carter Hutton. But to have Price between the pipes down the other end of the ice was special for the 22-year-old.
"I think I've had Carey Price's t-shirt, jersey thing since I was 13 years old," Daccord said. "He's been an idol of mine for as long as I can remember. Getting to face off against him was pretty special but hopefully we can beat him next time."
With a personality that will draw anyone in, Daccord has fitted in seamlessly with the Sens locker room. And after a very good debut AHL season last year - 15-6-2 with a .915 save percentage in Belleville - Daccord feels confident in himself to perform at the NHL level too.
"I just like to be myself and I think I'm someone who has a lot of self-belief," he said. "I want to come back to the locker room feeling like I left everything I had out there.
"I pour my heart into every game and for me the best way to play is to be confident and make sure the boys feel confident in me back there."