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DeSmith Getting Another Start; Petry Likely to Play



Pittsburgh Penguins, Casey DeSmith

DETROIT — Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan likes what he’s seen from backup Casey DeSmith lately.

Enough that he’s going to give DeSmith his third consecutive start when the Penguins face Detroit tonight at 7:08 at Little Caesars Arena.

“(DeSmith is going to play tonight, for a number of reasons,” Sullivan said after the Penguins’ optional game-day skate. “But, most importantly, he’s deserving. We think he’s played really well of late.”

DeSmith recorded 31 saves on 34 shots in the Penguins’ 4-3 victory against Washington at PPG Paints Arena Saturday and had the same number of stops during a 3-2 loss in Dallas two nights earlier.

No. 1 goalie Tristan Jarry was injured during the Penguins’ 5-2 victory at Colorado last Wednesday, but appears to be well enough to play if called upon.

DeSmith figures to be playing behind a bolstered defense, as Jeff Petry, who has missed the past five games because of an unspecified upper-body injury, seems likely to return against the Red Wings.

Sullivan labeled him a “game-time decision,” but Petry sounded as if, barring a significant setback, he’ll be in uniform this evening.

“Everything is progressing really well,” he said. “So the next step is to see how things are after this morning skate and warmups tonight. I’m feeling good. Feeling better every day, so hopefully, tonight it stays the same way, and I can go.”

Petry was one of 11 players to participate in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ optional skate. The others were Evgeni Malkin, Drew O’Connor, Jeff Carter, Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman Alex Nylander, Taylor Fedun, Jarry and DeSmith.