NEW YORK — Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith was just short of brilliant in the Penguins’ extended OT game against the New York Rangers but did not finish the 4-3 triple OT win.
He was replaced by Louis Domingue, midway through the second OT period. Domingue stopped all 17 shots, which allowed the Penguins to beat New York goalie Igor Shesterkin with their 83rd shot on goal.
DeSmith limped off the ice and down the tunnel in the right corner.
“The officials came over to me, I thought they were joking,” Domingue said.
Domingue did not sit on the bench but by himself in the runway because the benches at Madison Square Garden aren’t large enough to accommodate backup goalies.
DeSmith stopped 48 of 51 shots through the first half of the second OT period.
Igor Shesterkin faced 83 shots and set a New York record for saves in a playoff game, breaking the previous mark of 56 set by Gump Worsley (credit MSG broadcast).
“…like it’s another game, it’s a playoff game, but (I) just have to approach like any other game,” DeSmith said on Monday. Obviously (Shesterkin) is a great goaltender who’s had a lot of success this year, so it’s going to make our job difficult to score on him, but hopefully, we’re up to the task.”
The Penguins put three on him in the first two periods before Evgeni Malkin scored the game-winning goal and the Penguins claimed a 1-0 series lead.
Casey DeSmith, Being Evaluated
DeSmith acquitted himself well in his first playoff start. He was unavailable in the playoffs last season due to a late-season lower-body injury that required surgery. The 30-year-old goalie struggled through the first half of the regular season and appeared to be in danger of losing his backup job to Domingue.
However, a freak injury to Domingue in a morning skate ensured DeSmith remained the backup to Tristan Jarry. DeSmith rallied to finish with a .914 save percentage and a 2.79 GAA. He started 24 games and appeared in 26.
Head coach Mike Sullivan seemed to indicate DeSmith suffered more than just a leg cramp.
“I can tell you, he’s being evaluated right now. He’s day to day,” Sullivan said.
The Penguins will most likely cancel practice after playing over 100 minutes of hockey on Tuesday night.
Update: the Penguins will have an optional practice, so we may get an update on DeSmith.