G Chad Johnson to Make First Start for New York Rangers

Tonight's Healthy ScratchesCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2010

NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils  scores in the shootout against Chad Johnson #96 of the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on September 16, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Rangers 3-2 in the shoot out. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Chad Johnson will have a little more time to prepare this time around.

Early reports from Phillips Arena point towards rookie goalie, Chad Johnson, making his first start in goal tonight for the Rangers (21-17-5) as they visit the Atlanta Thrashers (18-18-6).

Johnson's first NHL experience was one to forget.

The 23-year-old rookie saw his first action on Dec. 30, in an embarrassing 6-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Johnson was thrust into action after Henrik Lundqvist was pulled following the first period.

There was no chance for preparation for Johnson, as just 23 seconds into his debut he faced his first NHL shot, NHL breakaway, and allowed his first NHL goal.

Simon Gagne stripped C Brandon Dubinsky and walked in uncontested on Johnson, welcoming him to the NHL.

Johnson allowed three goals on 20 shots—one coming on a 5-on-3 power play—but settled down nicely to finish the game.

"It's a tough position for a kid to come into his first game into this storm or whatever you want to call it," said coach John Tortorella.

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The storm being the horrible and listless defensive effort the Rangers put out that night.

Johnson felt the 40 minutes he played that night gave him experience for an in-game NHL situation. His biggest adjustment would be seeing the players' shots.

Before being called up by the Rangers, Johnson posted a 12-7-2 record for the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL.

Prior to his promotion, he was the No. 5 overall goaltender in the AHL with a 2.07 GAA and .927 SV%.

Tonight would have marked Lundqvist's 18th consecutive start.


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