The Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltending situation took a turn Friday when Casey DeSmith had core muscle surgery that morning. Coach Mike Sullivan announced the news, and said DeSmith will be out for the rest of the postseason.
DeSmith, who had what apparently was similar surgery last June after missing the playoffs, was filling in for No. 1 goalie Tristan Jarry in the Penguins’ first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers before he took himself out of Game 1 in the second overtime and limped down the runway toward the locker room at Madison Square Garden.
Sullivan said he had “not really had an opportunity to speak to Casey. It all happened fairly quickly.”
With Jarry still not skating because of what is believed to be a broken foot, the focus will continue to be on 30-year-old Louis Domingue.
Domingue entered cold in Game 1 when DeSmith left and held the fort in the Penguins’ eventual 4-3 triple overtime game — what will forever be known as the spicy pork and broccoli game because Domingue said he ate that during one of the intermissions. Domingue then started Game 2, a 5-2 Rangers win. He no doubt will be in net for Game 3 Saturday when the Rangers visit PPG Paints Arena.
Domingue’s backup is expected to be Alex D’Orio, as he was for Game 2. Those were the two goalies at practice Friday. However, it seems likely that the Penguins will sink or swim with Domingue until or unless Jarry returns given how inexperienced D’Orio is. Domingue has stopped 52 of 57 shots against the Rangers.
“I think he’s excited about the opportunity,” Sullivan said of Domingue. “I think he’s played well to this point. He’s a confident kid, and I think that really helps him in this circumstance.”
Sullivan offered some other injury updates, none dire.
Defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who did not play in Game 2 and did not practice Friday during an optional session, is day to day.
Jarry has not skated but continues to rehab off the ice.
Winger Jason Zucker is again a game-time decision for Game 3. It seemed he would play in Game 2 but did not. He participated in the practice Friday.
Winger Rickard Rakell, who left Game 1 looking woozy after a thunderous hit by New York’s Ryan Lindgren, skated for about 25 minutes before practice Friday. Sullivan called Rakell day to day, which seemed nearly unthinkable for those who saw him after the hit Tuesday.