For a kid who grew up in Detroit, followed the Red Wings, and dreamed of playing in the NHL, this couldn't be better.

Defenseman Danny DeKeyser made his NHL debut Friday against the Colorado Avalanche and didn't look out of place while helping the Red Wings a 3-2 overtime victory.

The game puck was in his locker stall afterward.

"I don't know who dropped it off," said DeKeyser with a wide smile.

But playing in his first NHL game, wearing a Red Wings jersey, and against the hated Avalanche — having watched the rivalry when he was a youngster — the momentous occasion was everything he thought it would be.

"Pretty much everything like when you think about as a kid," said DeKeyser, a Warren DeLaSalle grad and Western Michigan player, who was paired with Ian White. "The building was loud, the fans were awesome. It was a great game, and we won, I'm glad we got the extra point."

And it didn't go unnoticed that it was against the Avalanche.

"I remember Roy and Vernon in the 1990s, watching some of those games, it was exciting," said DeKeyser, noting the goalie fight between Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon. "Definitely a fun history there for sure."

DeKeyser played 16 minutes 36 seconds on 22 shifts, and was credited with two giveaways and three takeaways.

"I liked him," coach Mike Babcock said. "He's going to be a good player in this league for a long time. Obviously he has to get stronger, but he's a good skater, he's smart and a good defender. He's pretty easy to like.

"There will be growing pains for him, and I imagine he was a little nervous to start the game, but he played good for us."

Said DeKeyser: "I had some jitters at the start but after a couple of shifts, it was kind of like another game. I was able to settle down a little bit."