The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled goalie Emil Larmi from the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL and forward Thomas Di Pauli from the WBS Penguins on Saturday morning as the Penguins star-crossed drama continued. The team is in Montreal for a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night but like so many things this season, the Penguins best-laid plans went awry.
On Friday, the team announced goalie Casey DeSmith, 28, was recalled to presumably back up goalie Matt Murray, while the team left Tristan Jarry at home to be ready for the 5 p.m. Sunday game. However, Larmi was recalled because DeSmith was unable to make the trip because of a lost passport.
Larmi, 23, is in his first North American season, is 1-2-2 in the AHL, with a .861 save percentage and a 4.43 goals against average. Larmi was recently sent to Wheeling. In the ECHL, he is 3-1 with a .959 save percentage. PHN had several chances to speak with Larmi in the preseason and training camp. The Penguins Finnish rookie prospect understood he had a significant adjustment period ahead.
DeSmith can’t catch a break.
The Penguins AHL goalie was the NHL backup last season and by all accounts performed well. However, the Penguins suffocating salary cap situation played a role in DeSmith being demoted to begin this season.
Even as the Penguins had the salary cap room to recall DeSmith, Jarry was beginning his push for more playing time. Jarry leads the NHL in save percentage (.936) and in goals against average (1.94).
Di Pauli, 25, had his first NHL recall last weekend. He will serve as the Penguins extra forward.
According to Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford, the team also placed defenseman Jake Guentzel on IR and Justin Schultz, who was termed “week-to-week”, on IR retroactive to Dec. 17.
Schultz has eight points (2g, 6a) in 27 games this season. He last played against Calgary on Dec. 17 when he was injured on his first shift.