The Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday recalled goaltender Casey DeSmith and forward Thomas Di Pauli from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, but don’t panic.
There is no apparent injury or change in the status of the team’s top two goaltenders, Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry, and no indication a trade involving one of the three goalies is imminent.
The two recalled players will meet the team in Montreal, where the Penguins play the Canadiens Saturday at Bell Centre.
“Obviously, we don’t have any extra (healthy) forwards, so that explains Thomas,” coach Mike Sullivan said Friday after practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex and before the Penguins flew north.
“The reason we’re calling up Casey is because we’re going to leave Tristan at home because we have a 5 o’clock game on Sunday (against Florida), back to back. We just think it makes sense. Tristan’s going to play against Florida Sunday.”
Presumably, DeSmith will dress as Matt Murray’s backup Saturday. The game against the Panthers is 22 hours later, meaning Jarry would not have to travel back — a trip that requires going through customs — late Saturday night with a short day Sunday.
Jarry has essentially supplanted Murray s the Penguins’ go-to goalie over the past month or so. There was no indication that DeSmith will remain with the NHL club beyond Saturday or that anything has changed with Murray, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Penguins
De Pauli has six goals, 12 points in 22 games for Wilkes-Barre.
DeSmith, who served as Murray’s backup last season and earned a contract extension but who was beaten out by Jarry this season, is 10-8-2 with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage with Wilkes-Barre.
“He’s been really good. Casey’s an NHL caliber goalie,” Sullivan said.