Allowing a goal on the first shot he faced wasn't how Kent Simpson envisioned his NHL debut.

But the backup goaltender is considering Joffrey Lupul's score on a wrist shot from the right circle just 28 seconds after relieving Antti Raanta during the Maple Leafs' 7-3 pasting of the Blackhawks on Saturday night as a learning experience and he anticipates being much more at ease in his next appearance — whenever that may be.

"That first shot is one I save every time, but the nerves got the best of me," Simpson said. "The next time, I make that save."

Raanta started his seventh straight game Tuesday night when the Hawks beat the Predators 3-1 at Bridgestone Arena while No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford recovers from what a source said is a groin injury.

"They tell me my job here is to just stay ready, so that's what I'm doing," Simpson said.

He also is soaking in the knowledge that comes with being in the NHL after being recalled from Rockford on Dec. 9.