Stories, no matter the content, tend to get exaggerated over time. So when asked if tales from his first NHL shutout might be retold with a little more flair and fewer facts in 20 years, Chad Johnson smiled and nodded his head.

"Yeah, that will probably happen," the Coyotes rookie goalie said after stopping all 21 shots he faced during Monday night's 4-0 blanking of the Nashville Predators. "I could always tell them it was my first NHL game. … It felt like my first NHL game."

In actuality, Johnson made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers on Dec.30, 2009. He replaced an ineffective Henrik Lundqvist after the first period during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. And it didn't go nearly so smooth as Monday in his Coyotes' debut.

"No, it didn't," Johnson agreed. "Just 20 seconds in, Simon Gagne came flying down on a half-breaker and went low rocker on me. It was quite a moment. I think he scored a hat trick against us that night."

In three years since, Johnson, 26, had spent only 20 minutes in front of an NHL net. Until Monday, that is, when Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, sensing his team needed a spark, elected to start Johnson over usual backup Jason LaBarbera with Mike Smith still nursing a lower-body injury.