NEW YORK — The Pittsburgh Penguins lineup took shape Sunday morning at Madison Square Garden. As good people attended church, perhaps a few prayers were answered when Penguins No. 1 goalie Tristan Jarry attended the morning skate and filled the starter’s net. The other goalies, Louis Domingue and Alex D’Orio, shared the other cage.
Jarry was also the first goalie off. That’s universal hockey language for “starting goalie” against the New York Rangers for Game 7 Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. The puck will drop just after 7 p.m.
Update: Head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t confirm or deny Jarry would start. Jarry, Sidney Crosby, and Rickard Rakell are game-time decisions. Brian Boyle is out week-to-week, and Brian Dumoulin continues to rehab off the ice.
Jarry faced some game situation saves in the skate as players battled near the crease to deflect shots. He also faced some rush shots.
Late Friday night, PHN reported that Jarry badly wanted to play Game 6, but a combination of head coach Mike Sullivan and possibly the medical staff ruled him out. Friday, Jarry took shots from teammates for the first time since breaking a bone in his foot on April 14 in a win over the New York Islanders. Jarry has not played since.
“We’ve had all kinds of those conversations behind the scenes. And when Tristan is ready to play, and everybody feels comfortable that he’s ready to play, we’ll certainly put him in the lineup,” Sullivan said Friday morning. “We’ve had all those conversations behind the scenes with our medical staff and our coaching staff. We’re trying to put players in positions to be successful.”
One month and one day later, the Penguins goalie appears ready. He’ll relieve third goalie Louis Domingue, who has done yeoman’s work but has become increasingly leaky in the series. A couple of soft goals, including one with 1:28 remaining, gave New York a 5-3 win in Game 6.
Domingue’s save percentage in the series dipped below .900 (.898).
The other Penguins lineup wildcards for Game 7 are captain Sidney Crosby and winger Rickard Rakell. Both were knocked out of the series after hits to the head. Rakell was rung early in the first period of Game 1. He hasn’t played since but has begun practicing with a regular sweater.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now will update the story after head coach Mike Sullivan addresses the media.
Sidney Crosby was on the wrong end of a hit by Jacob Trouba in Game 5. The Penguins led 2-0 late in the second period and seemingly were inching towards salting away the game and the series.
However, Trouba’s concussive hit, with the elbow extended, was both unpunished by the league and a turning point. The Penguins lost Game 5 and squandered another 2-0 lead in Game 6.
Crosby was dominant before the hit. He had nine points (2-7-9) in the first four games. The Penguins’ top-line tilted the ice against the Rangers stars, and Jake Guentzel had six goals in the first four games and seven in the series.
This is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first Game 7 since beating the Ottawa Senators in double OT in the 2017 Eastern Conference Final, en route to the 2017 Stanley Cup.
Only 10 players and all three goalies participated in the Penguins’ morning skate at MSG. None of the Penguins’ top players, including Crosby, Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Rakell, and Kris Letang, took part.